West Sussex County Council signs deal with BT
West Sussex County Council is the latest authority to sign on the dotted line with BT for its BDUK project, The project which has a total contract value of £20 million should provide FTTC or FTTP broadband to over 44,000 premises at speeds of 24 Mbps or faster by Spring 2016.
The mainly FTTC roll-out will result in 98% of premises in the county having access to a FTTC service, or in some areas a native FTTP product. Fibre on Demand will of course be available for those in areas with FTTC (mainly businesses) willing to pay the significantly higher install fees and monthly price for the 330 Mbps Fibre on Demand service.
West Sussex is interesting as it is a county that still has three BT exchanges that do not offer any ADSL service at all, and we are expecting copper re-arrangement and the ability for an FTTC cabinet to have its backhaul running many miles to the handover node bringing fixed line broadband services to these areas.
"We are delighted to have entered into a partnership arrangement with BT that will significantly increase the county’s opportunity to grow its economy, and help all residents to enjoy the benefits of being online. West Sussex County Council is very aware of the problems that slow speeds or in some cases, no broadband at all can cause local businesses and people working and running businesses from home. This was a key rationale behind the Council’s decision to invest more than £6 million to provide more access to better, faster broadband across the county. We are now looking to BT, having won the contract, to deliver services to those areas which we know are without."Louise Goldsmith, deputy leader for West Sussex County Council
For those that like to play guess the subsidy level, the contract is made up of £7.6m from BT, £6.26m from West Sussex County Council and £6.26m from the BDUK.
Update 3:15pm While the press release does not cover the hot topic of exchange only (EO) lines, we have spoken with the right people in BT and while they cannot confirm that all exchange lines will be covered in the 98%, a mixture of copper re-arrangement to allow installation of a fibre cabinet close to the EO cluster, or if the economics stack up a native FTTP solution. This mixture has been applied elsewhere that BT have tackled the EO situation, so it will be a case of waiting and watching for product updates over time. While the 98% also seems ambitious there is a desire to push further than this if at all possible.
For updates on the project the West Sussex County Council broadband section should update as the project starts to gear up for delivery.