Cambridgeshire council seeks supplier to make significant investment in broadband rollout

By Derek du Preez
30 Jan 2012 View Comments

Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) has released details of its plans to procure next-generation broadband across the region, indicating it will need "significant private sector investment" to make the rollout possible.

An online prior information notice indicates that CCC is looking for a single supplier, or a consortium of suppliers, to act as a single entity to provide next-generation broadband infrastructure across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

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It is hoping to achieve access for at least 90 per cent of all premises and downstream connectivity of at least 2Mbit/s for all premises no later than 2015.

The contract is worth up to £100m, but most of this will have to come from private-sector investors.

The online notice highlights that the public sector contribution will total £30m, composed of £7m from Broadband Delivery UK, the body charged with distributing broadband funding made available by the government, and £23m from CCC and Peterborough City Council.

The notice reads: "Other funding sources, such as from EU Funding Streams, may also be accessed and there is an expectation that significant private-sector investment will be made by the supplier."

This news follows an announcement by communications minister Ed Vaizey that one-third of 47 broadband project areas in England are ready to take 24Mbit/s superfast broadband to their homes and businesses.

The communications minister said the government has unlocked potential European funding of about £100m that local authorities can apply for to help fund their broadband plans.

The funding is in addition to the £630m that is already being invested by the government to meet Chancellor George Osborne's aim of ensuring the UK has the best superfast network in Europe by 2015

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