Cambridgeshire council seeks supplier to make significant investment in broadband rollout

By Derek du Preez
30 Jan 2012 View Comments
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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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