Derbyshire County Council has announced plans to look for someone to work with on the Digital Derbyshire superfast broadband scheme.
The consultation will close on April 4, after which its expected that a winner will be announced.
Councillor Kevin Parkinson, cabinet member for regeneration said: “This is an important stage in the Digital Derbyshire project which will deliver the county’s biggest ever broadband transformation. A lot of hard work has taken place to lay the foundations so that we can ensure as many people as possible benefit when improved broadband infrastructure is rolled out.”
Read Recombu Digital’s report on Fibre Broadband and BDUK
In line with all BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) plans, at least 90 per cent of homes and businesses across Derbyshire will be able to access superfast broadband (up to 30Mbps) by 2015. The remaining 10 per cent will get speeds of at least 2Mbps.
Over 180,000 premises in Derbyshire are in so-called ‘white areas,’ areas where commercial ISPs wouldn’t normally deploy high-speed services as it’s not commercially viable to do so. These areas will be targeted as a priority for superfast deployment as well as other areas benefitting too.
Derbyshire has matched £7.39 million of BDUK funding, bringing the total amount of money to be spent on the project to £14.78 million. Though the whole invitation to tender process will need to go ahead, it’s a given that BT will be invited to do the work. With Fujitsu dropping out of the BDUK process, it’s just BT left in the bidding room now.
Should BT get the go ahead, then the majority of Derbyshire folk and firms can expect to get FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband, which promises top download speeds of 80Mbps. While this is the top speed achievable on FTTC, the actual speed you get will be dependent on how close you are to the nearest street cabinet.
Eventually customers on FTTC connections will be able to upgrade the last mile of their line as part of the FTTP On Demand programme. This will see you able to upgrade your FTTC line to FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) which offers much faster download speeds and is more reliable than FTTC. At the moment, FTTP On Demand is looking like it’ll be quite pricey though.