Cabinet today – Superfast broadband contract award

Today, at a special Cabinet meeting, I was able to announce the result of our procurement process for a contract to provide Superfast broadband across Cambridgeshire.

This award is very important for the people of Cambridgeshire as it will result in at least90% of homes and businesses getting at least 24mps. We are also expecting close to 100% coverage of at least 2Mbps.

These figures are the minimum and are standards that the government expect to unlock the BDUK £6.75m but we are expecting more. We know that much more than 2Mbps is possible and that is what we want.

We ran an open competition and encouraged as many suppliers, with a range of technologies, as possible to bid. We had multiple bidders throughout the process.

The next stage is to work with BT to organise the project plan for the rollout. We will be seeking the most efficient use of our money to give the very best coverage possible as well as having the most economic impact.

We hope to sign contracts in march and then hopefully will be able to publish the rollout plan so everyone can see when they will be upgraded.

This project, Connecting Cambridgeshire, is different and unrelated to the race to infinity scheme.

Around a third of Cambridgeshire was unlikely to ever get Superfast broadband without this intervention because it is not commercially viable. This contract makes these areas viable.

BT will be putting in the various technology but will then be required to allow free access to broadband providers. Competition between the broadband providers will drive the price we all end

I would like to thank the 100 Broadband Champions who have helped us generate the interest to get 24000 registrations, signalling a huge demand. This is the best level of registrations in the country.

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