Wiltshire Council, in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, has announced today that British Telecom has been chosen as the preferred bidder to provide superfast broadband to premises across the Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire area.
John Thomson, cabinet member for communities, said: “I am delighted we have been able to work with our partner to select our preferred bidder to deliver this much needed service.
"Providing faster broadband access across the county will transform the lives of many residents and businesses who struggle to make full use of the internet and online services.
“This project is vital to our economy. Having high speed internet connectivity will be critical to the success of businesses already based in the county, and will also be a huge attraction to those looking to move in.”
Cllr John Goddard, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Resources Sub-Committee, said: “We were delighted to have joined Wiltshire in selecting BT as our preferred bidder in one of the country’s most advanced broadband development projects. This demonstrates our firm commitment to the modern telecommunications infrastructure that our businesses and communities need.
“Delivering broadband improvements remain a high priority for this council and our ambitious project will bring about huge social and economic benefits. We recognise that high speed internet connections are vital for South Gloucestershire’s economic future, and for promoting business growth and encouraging inward investment.“ In June the partnership launched a procurement process inviting businesses in the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) national procurement framework, to bid for the contract and demonstrate why they would provide the best value for money and highest level of service.
The contract will be awarded once European State Aid is granted to the UK by the European Commission. The rollout of the broadband improvements will be completed in 2015.
The procurement programme is being led by Wiltshire Council with an investment of £15.5m with an additional £4.66m government funding. South Gloucestershire Council is investing £2.2m in the district’s broadband provision, alongside £710,000 of Government funding, and the contract will be awarded in early December.