BT secures Peterborough and Cambridge rural broadband deal

Broadband plugs

BT is poised to bag another rural broadband deployment deal, this time covering Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.

The three-year deal is expected to be signed next month and will see BT provide 90 per cent of the homes and businesses in both areas with access to superfast broadband of at least 24 Mbps.

Meanwhile, the company has vowed to deliver basic broadband of at least 2Mbps to 100 per cent of the area's homes and businesses by 2015.

It will help local businesses to grow, allow more people to work from home, and create new jobs.

The telco is understood to have fought off competition from several other bidders to win the deal, but no further details about when work will begin on the project have been revealed.

Peterborough City Council and Cambridge County Council have stumped up 3million and 20 million, respectively, for the project, while Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will contribute 6.75 million.

It has been claimed that, without this funding, around a third of home and businesses in Cambridge and Peterborough would not have access to faster broadband services.

Councillor Marco Cereste, Peterborough City Council Leader, said the project will provide the area with an economic boost.

"Securing better broadband will connect communities across Peterborough and our surrounding villages," said Cereste.

"It will help local businesses to grow and compete, allow more people to work from home, create new jobs, and ensures that our rural communities are not left out of the digital world."

The deal is the latest in a long line of rural broadband deployment deals BT has won over the past 12 months through the BDUK scheme.

Back in November, the telco outlined plans to provide two-thirds of UK homes and businesses with access to fibre broadband networks by spring 2014, which is 18 months earlier than originally planned.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.