Superfast broadband should now be available in Potton and Everton. Please contact your provider if you want to upgrade to a superfast package.
I’m told much of Wrestlingworth’s new infrastructure should be in place by September of this year.
For the rest of our ward, BT have just provided their response to the tender the council put out earlier this year. See here for the full story about the tender process: https://adamzerny.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/superfast-broadband-update/
Central Beds are now in negotiations with BT but I understand the contract is likely to be agreed by early May.
BT’s offer provides coverage for 97% of Central Beds and does now include for the first time Cockayne Hatley, Eyeworth, Tempsford, Edworth and Sutton. However BT’s initial plans mean they are only down as being completed by 2019. I will be pushing for this to be sooner; the timescale is decided by BT.
I have also investigated satellite broadband and there is like to be further guidance from the government soon as to how this might work. I understand it is unlikely anything will be in place until September of this year, at the earliest, and any installation won’t be until 2016. More information can be found here:
This leaves Dunton.
Dunton was to be included in an earlier stage – full details here: https://adamzerny.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/superfast-broadband-update – but BT found the cost much higher than they’d initially expected. BT have finally now confirmed they’ve accepted the cost of covering Dunton is too high (I understand it’s only £10,000-15,000). It was this delay which meant Dunton couldn’t be included in the tender Central Beds did earlier this year. As BT have now declared the cost commercially unviable, it means it is eligible for state aid.
I’ve been speaking to Central Beds who will now looking at whether they can find any extra funding via savings in the future scheme mentioned above.
One option for Dunton is that Central Bedfordshire is also eligible for a Connection Vouchers Scheme which means small and medium-sized businesses, registered charities, social enterprises and sole traders can get a superfast broadband connection with a voucher worth up to £3,000, to help them get connected. They can club together to make their vouchers go further but unfortunately it looks unlikely that any lines that would go in would be able to benefit homes.
This a first come, first served scheme, operating until 30 March 2016, but finishing sooner than this if the national pot of £40million runs out. So, if you are interested, the sooner you apply the better.
I’ve also been in touch with Dunton residents who are looking at other options.
Watch this space for any updates and let me know if you have any questions on any aspect. Contact me at @firstname.lastname@example.org .