At least 95 per cent of Nottinghamshire homes and businesses will have access to superfast broadband connections by March 2016.
The £20 million Superfast Notts deal between Nottinghamshire County Council and BT Openreach will improve services for 52,000 premises by March 2016.
BT’s fibre-based broadband network will deliver over-24Mbps superfast connections to 95 per cent of the county, with at least 2Mbps for the final five per cent.
Read Recombu Digital’s report on Fibre Broadband and BDUKCouncillor Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “By working with BT and other partners including the district and city councils, we will end the digital divide experienced by many of our rural areas especially in Newark and Sherwood, Bassetlaw and Rushcliffe.
“Businesses, schools and families will all benefit from the significant economic, educational and leisure advantages that high speed broadband brings to everyone with higher online speeds for video, shopping and file sharing.
“Our business training workshops are still available for local firms to find out more about the enormous benefits high speed broadband can bring. Over 150 businesses have already attended a session to gain a better understanding of the new opportunities available online.”
The deal is the latest in the government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, following a similar BT agreement for neighbouring Derbyshire last week.
BT will begin surveying work to develop a detailed rollout plan, and the first premises are expected to be connected in July 2014. BT’s own commercial fibre rollout to around 400,000 premises will finish by the end of 2014.
The funding breaks down to £9.3m from BT in addition to its existing commercial fibre rollout in the county, £4.5m from BDUK, £2.5m from Nottinghamshire County Council, and £3.5 million from Nottinghamshire Borough and District Councils and the European Regional Development Fund.
The ERDF funding will be particularly focussed on providing fibre broadband to the 6,000 small and medium sized businesses in Nottinghamshire.
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access, said: “Deploying fibre broadband is a substantial challenge but a vital one which will help local businesses to be competitive and ensure they remain in the county. It can also play an important role in attracting more firms to the county, helping to create jobs for local people.”
BT Openreach will deploy FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) at up to 80Mbps for most locations, although actual speeds will depend on distance from the cabinet.
Businesses in some locations will also be able to order FTTP (fibre to the premises) at up to 330Mbps, and any businesses in an FTTC area will be able to order FTTP On Demand (FoD), although connection fees could be around £1,000 on average.