Superfast broadband moves closer
By Trucks79 | Saturday, July 14, 2012, 08:48
The procurement drive for urgently-needed broadband upgrades in the region has begun after two telecoms companies were given the green light to compete for the project.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport has selected BT and Fujitsu for its 'national framework for superfast broadband,' making them thetwo firms authorised to bid for government and local authority funded broadband schemes.
That includes the joint broadband project for Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire and Swindon which are among the first five projects in the country now able to invite tenders from the two communications giants.
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council's Resources Sub-Committee John Goddard said: "High speed internet connections are vital for South Gloucestershire's economic future, promoting business growth and encouraging inward investment.
"As a council we are firmly committed to the modern telecommunications infrastructure that our businesses need and we were delighted to have joined Swindon and Wiltshire in one of the country's most advanced broadband development projects.
"Our research shows that there is a strong business case for investment in South Gloucestershire's broadband infrastructure and we now look forward to telecoms providers submitting their tenders to deliver this service."
Invitations to tender have been sent to both companies for the right to become the three councils'private partner and build the region's new superfast infrastructure.
South Gloucestershire Council is investing £2.2m in the district's broadband provision,alongside £710,000 of Government funding.
The regional procurement programme is being led by Wiltshire Council with a total capital investment of £23m.
The award of contract is anticipated in October of this year and will require the UK government being awarded State Aid by the European Commission in advance of this decision.