Northumberland County Council has provisionally secured £21 million for superfast broadband funding.
The council has matched a £7 million sum from the BDUK pot with its own money and as part of its invitation to tender deal, will require the contractors doing the work to make up the remaining £7 million.
Making good use of the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) local address database, Northumberland County Council has been able to provide a clearer picture of which properties were furthest from telephone exchanges and identifying new build properties under construction – which could lead to easier rollout of FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband.
Read Recombu Digital’s report on Fibre Broadband and BDUK
This extra information is valuable to contractors as it’ll eliminate the need for much of the forward planning and management that would otherwise have to take place once the contract had been awarded.
Ryan Gilchrist, LLPGmanager at Northumberland County Council added:
“As a rural community, it was felt that Northumberland’s local address dataset had a vital role in gaining the funding necessary to improve the community per the Government’s agenda… The £7m of BDUK funding was matched by the council, whilst contractors rolling out the new broadband infrastructure will also be expected to match the fund. As a result of the work, hugely assisted by our local address dataset, we have therefore secured £21m in funding.”
Northumberland County Council has yet to announce any winners for its contract but expects rollout of superfast broadband to begin in May this year.
Separately, the council has launched the iNorthumberland scheme, a £1.3 million plan to ensure that those in the final ten per cent of rural Northumbria get connected via alternative technologies such as satellite and wireless broadband. This should see those who would normally get at least 2Mbps speeds under the BDUK funding model potentially enjoy faster speeds.