BT wins another two rural fibre broadband deals

01.02.2013, von Antony Savvas

BT has kept its iron grip on government-funded regional fibre broadband deals with the announcement of two further projects in the south-west. BT has so far signed around the country.

The largest south-west deal signed this week is the £94 million project to increase broadband speeds for businesses and residents across Devon and Somerset over the next four years.

The Connecting Devon and Somerset consortium has agreed a deal with BT which aims to deliver high-speed fibre broadband to around 90 percent of premises by the end of 2016, and to ensure a minimum 2mbps broadband speed for all.

Surveying work on the project will start immediately and the first locations to be upgraded will be announced during this spring.

BT's £41 million financial contribution will bolster the public sector investment, which includes £10 million each from Devon and Somerset county councils, £32 million government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and contributions from other public sector partners.

Average broadband speeds in the region are currently around 9mbps in Devon and around 8mbps in Somerset, whilst around 14 percent of premises across the two counties receive less than 2mbps, BT said.