Massive investment for Kent broadband likely

Wednesday, May 18th 2011
Households in Kent could be set to see massive investment in broadband services over the next four years.
Massive investment for Kent broadband likely
Kent County Council has announced it is expecting a massive government handout as it looks to improve its superfast broadband offering over the coming months.

The council is now tendering for firms to meet its commitments for the delivery of next-generation internet services, with a planned budget of £44.3 million to be spent on upgrading network access and speeds in the next four years.

Up to £42 million of this expenditure is set to be delivered by the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) budget, with the remainder coming from the council's own Superfast Broadband Pilot Fund.

Four options are currently being presented to those firms wishing to undertake the upgrade works - fibre optic networks, wired alternative networks, wireless and innovative/emerging submissions - all of which could dramatically improve levels of broadband access across the county.

At present, 6.6 per cent of households in Kent have no access to broadband services of any kind, while 40 per cent of properties are unable to achieve fixed-line transfer rates of 2Mbps.

It is hoped that this latest initiative will address these issues, with BDUK set to announce the next four projects that will receive its funding on May 27th.

Elsewhere, Bromley council recently received criticism over what is seen as unnecessary red tape by the authority getting in the way of the installation of next-generation broadband services in the area.

Lewisham West and Penge MP Jim Dowd recently told local publication the Bromley Times that the project to deliver improved services to homes across the county could hit a stumbling block in Bromley due to the council's refusal to embrace change.

He commented: "BT are rolling out superfast broadband across the country but may have to leave Bromley behind after council officials categorised the rollout as 'major works', making the planning process lengthy and complicated."

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