A public consultation has been launched on the wider roll-out of superfast broadband, which should reach more than 97 per cent of Berkshire by the end of 2018.
Superfast broadband is set to be rolled out to more homes across the county as
Superfast Berkshire begins the search for companies to deliver the third phase of the project.
Over the summer Superfast Berkshire has been re-assessing the coverage of superfast broadband in the county and which properties are still to receive it. The accuracy of the supplier’s data is still being confirmed but it has allowed Superfast Berkshire to begin consulting with broadband providers and community organisations to establish the properties they currently serve or plan to serve with superfast broadband speeds across Berkshire.
Further details of the State Aid Public Consultation can be found on the Superfast Berkshire website which will remain open until October 28. Broadband providers with plans for Berkshire that are yet to respond are urged to do so by the deadline to ensure their plans are recognised.
Once complete, Superfast Berkshire will be clear on where public funding can be applied as under state aid rules, the Berkshire project cannot distort the market by encroaching on the firm plans of other providers.
Following analysis of the consultation results, Superfast Berkshire will issue its Phase 3 procurement where priority will be given to those areas that are currently unable to access speeds of at least 24 Mbps. It is anticipated that additional contracts can be awarded to suppliers around mid-2017 with deployment beginning as soon as possible.
This follows the successful completion of a Phase 1 contract with BT in September 2015 that provided broadband improvements to in excess of 24,000 properties and superfast coverage to 91 per cent across Berkshire.
Under Phase 2 of the project, contracts were awarded to Gigaclear (West Berkshire) and Call Flow (Windsor and Maidenhead) who are set to take superfast coverage to a further 19,000 properties and bring the county to in excess of 95 per cent by the end of 2017.