Get Ready for Broadband
Next Generation Broadband, available at competitive and affordable prices, will start being rolled out into towns and villages across Rutland that previously may not have been able to receive such services before the end of this year.
Councillors (19 March 2012) voted to award the contract for the Digital Rutland project to British Telecommunications plc (BT), subject to EC State aid approval.
Digital Rutland aims to increase broadband speeds to homes and businesses across the county. Rutland County Council has a vision of 90% of premises achieving at least 24Mbps download speeds, with the remaining ‘more hard to reach’ premises achieving between 2-24 Mbps.
Councillor Terry King, Deputy Leader of Rutland County Council commented: “Digital Rutland is about improving the local broadband infrastructure, so that in addition to increasing download/upload speeds locally; it enables any Internet Service Provider to use the new infrastructure to offer competitive and affordable broadband packages”.
Councillor Terry King added: “We know slow download speeds are an issue for many of our local residents and businesses with some not even receiving 0.5Mbps. This project will make a real difference and the council is looking forward to working with BT to significantly improve the broadband network across Rutland”.
Background to Digital Rutland
Rutland was announced back in September 2011 as a Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) pilot area and is receiving a grant from BDUK of £710,000.
During the last ten months, Rutland County Council has been engaging with a number of potential business partners for the procurement of Next Generation Broadband. This extremely detailed and comprehensive process resulted in the decision by Councillors to award the contract to BT.
The council must now wait for State aid approval, a normal process for any project funded using public money. Subject to this approval being granted, it’s anticipated it will take just over 12 months to deploy the new broadband infrastructure throughout the county, starting in October 2012.
Views on Digital Rutland
Rutland MP Alan Duncan said: “This is another important step closer to the roll out of fast broadband in Rutland. The Council has been working hard to ensure the best deal for the Digital Rutland project. Resolving the long-standing problem of slow internet connections will be a huge boost for the county’s economy I am confident that we are on the cusp of a success story.”
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “It is great news that high speed broadband is coming to Rutland. Next generation technology is vital to secure economic growth and local people and businesses are now set to benefit from the huge opportunities provided by the internet. Government wants the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe and I’m delighted that Rutland will be a part of that.”
The Digital Rutland project will bring a range of benefits including:
- Improved broadband speeds and coverage (for residents and local businesses)
- Improved productivity and opportunity for small-medium sized businesses
- Potential for more jobs to be created and/or retained
- Greater choice in market place offering residents greater choice and price
- Improved home to school learning
Rutland County Council was recently named by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport as one of the council’s who are closest to delivering significant improvements to their local broadband network.
For more information please visit www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland