Saturday, 23 February 2013 21:23

Faster broadband one step closer

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Faster broadband one step closer

HIGH-SPEED broadband moved a step closer for Buckinghamshire, which wants a company to lay cables in areas with slow or no connections.

The announcement follows a government announcement to increase its funding contribution of £3.07 million for broadband development in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire by £1.08m.

The move represents a step forward in an estimated £16m partnership initiative between Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire county councils, the government and the private sector.

The partnership aims to feed high speed broadband to more than 118,000 homes and businesses in the two counties.

Suppliers have been formally invited to submit tenders for work to reach around 62,000 homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire with broadband speeds of 30 megabits per second (Mbps) or more.

Buckinghamshire County Council leader Martin Tett said: "This is a great step forward in our journey to award a contract in May. It brings closer the very real possibility of starting to lay cables to rural areas before the end of the year.'

Bidders have until mid-April to show how they will reach homes that currently have low speed or no broadband, demonstrate the technologies they'll use, and say how they'll phase delivery.

Bids will be evaluated immediately and the contract awarded in May.

Mr Tett said: 'High speed broadband is one of the greatest drivers of economic growth and creation of jobs.

"In Buckinghamshire we have one of the highest rates of business starts in the country, and we must keep driving forward with our broadband plans to support our small firms and residents in rural areas.'

Current data suggests that 28% of the 220,234 premises in Buckinghamshire will not have a high speed broadband connection by 2015, based on supplier rollout programmes.

Of these, 60% are in Aylesbury Vale district, 22% in Wycombe district, and 9% in each of South Bucks and Chiltern districts.

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