Rutland: England’s Smallest County Has UK’s Highest Superfast Broadband Adoption Rate

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BT and Rutland County Council to expand fibre even further after high takeup rate

England’s smallest county has the UK’s highest adoption rate of superfast broadband, with 43 percent of homes and businesses in Rutland taking up fibre services.

All ten of the county’s telephone exchanges have been upgraded to fibre and 47 new green roadside cabinets have been installed as part of BT’s commercial deployment and the first phase of the £3m government assisted rollout.

Four of the county’s exchanges have adoption rates of more than half, and Rutland has six of the top ten cabinet for fibre takeup in the country. In total, 5,000 premises receive superfast speeds.

BDUK Rutland

Oakham Castle RutlandRutland County Council and BT have just agreed a second £1.1m phase of the project, which will extend coverage to another 900 properties in hard to reach areas such as Barleythorpe, Bisbrooke, Braunston and Pickworth. Work will start in April and when completed will cover 94.6 percent of all premises in Rutland.

“Digital Rutland is a major success story and a shining example of how the public and private sectors can work together to achieve just about anything,” said Bill Murphy, BT managing director of Next Generation Access. “The council was one of the very first to recognise the opportunity that fibre broadband provides and has been an enthusiastic, determined, and committed partner. The end result of this hard work is the best take-up rates for fibre broadband anywhere in the country. For that, Rutland should be very proud.”

BDUK provides central government funding to local authorities to help pay for the rollout of superfast broadband in areas deemed to be not economically viable by commercial rollouts. Any money received by authorities must be matched, while BT, which has won the vast majority of BDUK contracts, has also invested significant amounts.

BT expects typical adoption rates in BDUK areas to be 30 percent, significantly higher than the 20 percent presented in its business case, and as per clauses in its contracts with local authorities, is returning £129m to reinvest in superfast infrastructure.

BDUK has so far directly connected more than three million homes and businesses to superfast broadband.

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