THE next big step towards bringing superfast broadband to the majority of homes and businesses throughout the county has been taken by Cambridgeshire County Council.
Providing superfast broadband in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will help boost the economy and make sure communities can benefit from being connected.
Potential suppliers of next-generation broadband infrastructure and services for the region are now being invited to respond to the official Contract Notice published by the County Council on April 17.
The Contract Notice is the next step in the formal procurement process to appoint a supplier by the end of the year to invest in rolling out superfast broadband across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with implementation beginning from 2013 onwards.
Cambridgeshire County Council is the contracting authority for the project, acting on behalf of the county and Peterborough City Council supported by District Councils, the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, and key partners in business, health and education, belonging to the Broadband Delivery Group.
The plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is for at least 90% of homes and businesses to have access to superfast broadband with speeds of at least 25 Mbps and above and better broadband connectivity for all remaining premises by 2015.
The County Council has been working closely with the Government funding and advice body Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) to meet the unique requirements of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
BDUK has allocated £6.75m to complement the substantial funding of up to £20m from Cambridgeshire County Council and up to £3m from Peterborough City Council. This public funding is being used to attract significant investment from the private sector.
The complex procurement process began with a Prior Information Notice (PIN) issued in January 2012. This was followed by a Supplier Day in February to which suppliers were invited to find out more about the unique requirements for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The Connecting Cambridgeshire website will go live early next month (May) support the launch of the countywide campaign to involve residents and businesses in showing the level of demand for broadband services throughout Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.