Better broadband for businesses

FASTER FUTURE: Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Anne Western (left), and Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, at the contract signing with Bill Murphy, BT Managing Director, Next Generation Access. nrhn broadband
FASTER FUTURE: Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Anne Western (left), and Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, at the contract signing with Bill Murphy, BT Managing Director, Next Generation Access. nrhn broadband

A £27.67 million project to transform broadband speeds for thousands more businesses and residents across Derbyshire has been announced.

Derbyshire County Council, which has spearheaded the Digital Derbyshire programme, has signed a contract with phone giant BT to make fibre broadband available to a further 88,000 premises across the county, bringing it to more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses by 2016.

The project aims to ensure that the remaining premises will also see an uplift in speed and deliver a minimum of 2Mbps to almost all homes and businesses – fast enough to use online services such as BBC iPlayer.

County council leader Cllr Anne Western said: “The contract signing is without doubt the most important step of the Digital Derbyshire project so far. It’s vital that our businesses – including those in rural locations – are at least on a level playing field with other areas of the UK and further afield to be able to maintain and create jobs in a thriving Derbyshire economy.”

BT is contributing £12.87m to the project while Derbyshire County Council is contributing £4.9m. A further £7.4m is coming from the Government’s BDUK funds, as well as £2.5m from the European Regional Development Fund.

The first areas are set to be upgraded in 2014.

‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ will be the main technology deployed, which delivers wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps, and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. ‘Fibre to the Premises’ technology – delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps – will also be deployed.