Multi-million pound broadband boost for 8,000 central Bedfordshire homes and businesses

Around 8,000 homes and businesses across Central Bedfordshire are set to get access to high-speed fibre broadband after a new contract worth more than £4million was signed with BT.

Around 8,000 homes and businesses across Central Bedfordshire are set to get access to high-speed fibre broadband after a new contract worth more than £4million was signed with BT.

It is the second multi-million pound contract penned by the Central Superfast programme, a partnership between the telecoms giant, Central Bedfordshire, Bedford Borough, Milton Keynes and Luton Borough Councils and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

This latest investment involves £2.05million from Central Bedfordshire Council and a further £2.04million from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP), together with further funding from BT.

The new deal builds on the first phase of the Superfast Central project and the private sector’s commercial rollout of the technology, helping Central Bedfordshire achieve its aim of bringing fibre broadband within reach of 96.5 per cent of the area’s homes and businesses by June 2019.

The Central Superfast programme is making a combined investment of £11.2million to deliver phase two of the fibre rollout to over 16,500 premises across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.

The second phase of work follows the current phase one programme that will enable more than 40,000homes and businesses to access fibre broadband. It also follows BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband, which has already reached more than 195,000 premises in the county as a whole.

Cllr Richard Wenham, said: “Giving 8,000 more properties access to faster broadband is a great boost to homes and businesses in Central Bedfordshire and another significant achievement from the Central Superfast programme.

“Faster internet connections are crucial to helping boost our economy by attracting new businesses to the area and creating new jobs. It will also improve connectivity to residential sections of our community that have been crying out for this technology.

“While this is a great achievement, which will be welcome news to a great many homes and businesses, there will be more that require the same access to superfast broadband and we will strive to extend that coverage as far as possible.”

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "This is fantastic news for Central Bedfordshire. Huge progress has already been made in the first part of our rollout of superfast broadband and today's news means that even more homes and businesses can look forward to a much faster and more reliable internet connection".

Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director for Next Generation Access, said: “Hard work and commitment to this project has secured further investment which will make fibre broadband available to thousands more homes and businesses.

“The most important aim is to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from fibre broadband and in as quick a timeframe as possible so this is great news for both businesses and households across the county.”

A map and postcode checker giving initial indications of phasing and coverage will be available to view on the Borough Council’s broadband web page (www.bedford.gov.uk/broadband).


Notes to editors:

BT is investing £3.7m in phase 2 of the contract, in addition to the £6.2m it has already invested in phase 1.

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a UK government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

- £780 million to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.

- £150 million to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities.

- £150 million to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services.

Administered on behalf of government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk