BT picked to take superfast broadband contract
THE organisation behind plans to bring superfast broadband to Plymouth has announced the firm set to win the £51million contract.
The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme, a collaboration involving Plymouth City Council, Somerset and Devon county councils, North Somerset Council, and Torbay Council, has appointed BT as preferred bidder for the provision of superfast broadband across the two counties.
High-speed internet is seen as key to attracting cutting-edge businesses and other investment to the city.
A spokesman for CDS said: "Over the next fortnight, due diligence will be undertaken on the tender.
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"Once this has been completed successfully, the offer will be formally confirmed enabling the final contract details to be agreed."
The programme aims to provide 100 per cent broadband coverage of 2Mbps, with a minimum of 85 per cent superfast broadband at 24Mbps by 2015, and superfast broadband for all by 2020.
The project has secured £31million of funding from the Government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and both Somerset and Devon County Councils will be putting in up to £10million each.
According to Ofcom, almost 18 per cent of premises across both counties are getting less than 2Mbps.
In Somerset, just four per cent of the county can access superfast broadband, while in Devon, with two major cities, that rises to 17 per cent.
It is anticipated a further announcement on the the contract will be made before Christmas.