The recent announcement by UK Government of a further £440M being made available for investment into greater broadband coverage is clearly good news.
However, it is important to note that the majority of this money isn't 'New' money, but will instead come from 'efficiencies' and from the existing contractual 'clawback' mechanism in current BDUK/County Council contracts. The latter category is probably more relevant because we already know what 'efficiencies' Lincolnshire has from the first contract.
It appears that BT will be putting in around £292M from clawback, of which just over £130M is already allocated. What remains to be seen is exactly how much, if any, Lincolnshire will get from this funding. Clearly, any additional funding is great news and will assist us in the push towards 97% Superfast coverage by 2020, which seems to be the latest Government objective.
As soon as we get word on what might be coming in our direction, we will announce via the onlincolnshire website.
What isn't quite so clear is how the Government and BT in particular, intend to deliver the Universal Service Obligation (USO) due by 2020. BT has suggested that they will do this without additional Public funding and certainly the announcement above and associated aspirations, if met, will go a long way to cutting down on the numbers involved in the USO. Long-Reach VDSL technology will go some way to reducing these numbers further, but there is this horrible feeling that satellite technology may well be considered as the solution for the final 1% or so.
We look forward to pushing Superfast coverage out further into Lincolnshire as we move into the New Year.
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