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Wrekin Ball: West Midlands council invites bids for superfast broadband scheme

Telford & Wrekin Council is in consultation with broadband installers to bring superfast broadband to 96 per cent of properties in its area by 2017.

The agreement would apply to any areas that don’t already have broadband infrastructure in place and aren’t earmarked to get it in future, as per the public funding guidelines.

Telford & Wrekin Council will personally contribute £2m to the scheme, while the government’s BDUK national broadband initiative will put in the same.

Broadband suppliers including (but not limited to) BT will be invited to tender for installation in Telford & Wrekin
Broadband suppliers including (but not limited to) BT will be invited to tender for installation in Telford & Wrekin

Councillor Charles Smith, cabinet member for Development, said: “This consultation is the next step towards us securing superfast broadband for nearly all homes in the borough.

“This scheme will help local businesses and residents to access the fastest available broadband. This will encourage greater e-commerce and interaction through digital communications.”

Consultation for the project will last until November 6th and feedback, comments and questions are welcome from broadband suppliers, businesses and residents.

The government’s superfast broadband roll out programme aims to bring a solid 24Mbps or higher connection to millions of homes and businesses across rural and urban UK. However, European State Aid regulations apply, meaning it’s not as simple as just installing broadband in every area around the UK.

Following the Open Market Review (OMR) that measured which areas need the connection most, the council identified areas including Adeney, Kynnersley, Edgmond Marsh, Pickstock andTibberton as areas that aren’t scheduled to receive broadband.

Superfast broadband plans were missing in a much wider area around the county, showing there’s certainly a need for the council to take action.

Following the consultation with residents and businesses in the area, broadband suppliers will be invited to tender for the project and roll out will commence in Spring 2015.

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