Superfast Broadband Procurement Goes Live!

The Connecting Devon and Somerset superfast broadband programme has launched its procurement process today. This follows the completion of work to deliver a national framework of suppliers, with two bidders, BT and Fujitsu Telecom, signing an agreement in London.

BT and Fujitsu have now been invited to tender for the Connecting Devon and Somerset contract to deliver the infrastructure for superfast broadband across the area. Both companies signed up to the National Framework following a lengthy procurement process.

The Connecting Devon and Somerset programme is led by Devon and Somerset County Councils in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay Councils. It aims to provide 100% broadband coverage of at least 2Mbps with a minimum of 85% superfast broadband at 24Mbps by 2015 and superfast broadband for all by 2020.

Now that the Connecting Devon and Somerset Invitation To Tender (ITT) has been issued, both companies will enter a tendering process to win a contract directly with CDS to provide improved broadband throughout Devon and Somerset.

Councillor Will Mumford, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Strategic Planning for Devon County Council said: “The Connecting Devon and Somerset programme is on track to begin the roll-out phase in early 2013. We will now be entering the procurement phase with both suppliers to secure the best deal possible for residents and businesses alike.”

“There will be a lot of work behind the scenes over the summer and autumn to analyse demand for superfast broadband using people’s responses to the survey we carried out over the spring and summer to track existing infrastructure and services and then to start developing a programme for prioritising rollout.”

The project has secured £32 million of funding from the government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and both Somerset and Devon County Councils will be putting in up to £10 million each. Further funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council who joined CDS in February has brought the total close to £53 million. Further investment will be expected from the successful private sector bidder.

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