£17.9m to take Norfolk to 90% fibre based broadband in phase 2
Mixed reaction to the news of BT winning a £17.9m contract for phase 2 of better broadband in Norfolk. The original project only aimed for 80% of the county to get access to a superfast broadband service and it appears this next wave of spending is aiming to push coverage to 90% with a fibre based service. The question the County Council may have to answer from the BDUK now, is why only 90% fibre when the centrally driven aim is 95% at superfast speeds.
The new £17.9m contract is meant to help around 25,000 homes and businesses and the money includes £5.9m from BT, £6m from Westminster, £5m from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. This means the gap funding is running at £480 per property, though this is not likely to be uniform in practice.
In terms of the current project, there is still a fair bit of work to do as we believe superfast coverage is sitting at two thirds of the counties premises, with fibre based broadband (i.e. including those not superfast) at 74%.
So while it is good news for some and the areas likely to benefit may be able to find out some more detail in the spring, the targets still mean a lottery in terms of where to move in Norfolk.