The UK government’s commitment to improve broadband access across the country has received a boost from news of a fiber-based broadband deal between telecoms incumbent BT and Lincolnshire County Council.
In a statement on its website, the operator said it would provide superfast broadband services to 88% of premises in Lincolnshire – home to about 715,000 UK residents – by April 2016, and ensure the remaining 12% can access services of at least 2Mbps by the same date.
The company says it was chosen following a competitive selection process.
The broadband deployment is expected to cost £48 million ($71.7 million) in total, with £18.8 million coming from BT (London, UK), £14.3 million from the national government, £11.2 million from the county council and £4 million from district authorities.
It represents the country’s sixth-largest rollout under the auspices of the government’s Broadband Delivery UK program.
“The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and widespread access to superfast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to Lincolnshire’s local economy,” said Ed Vaizey, the UK’s communications minister.
BT says work will start immediately and expects the first superfast connections to be available in January 2014.
Earlier this week, BT raised coverage targets for another public-private broadband initiative in Cornwall in the southwest of the country, saying it expected to cover 95% of county’s population (of about 530,000) by the end of 2014, instead of the original target of 80%.
A partnership between BT, Cornwall Council and the European Union, Superfast Cornwall is investing £132 million on the deployment of fiber-optic infrastructure, with £78.5 million coming from BT and £53.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund.
The operator says efficiencies that have emerged since the project began have allowed it to increase its targets.