Durham shops for £10m fibre network
County council publishes three-lot framework tender
Credit: Carsten Rehder/DPA/PA Images
Durham County Council is to spend up to £10m on installing a fibre broadband network across the region.
The authority has published a contract notice seeking one or more suppliers that can install next-generation access (NGA) infrastructure to deliver internet connectivity across Durham, Gateshead, and Sunderland.
The contract is split into three lots: the first covering the delivery to the rural areas of the county, and the second addressing its towns and cities. The third lot concerns a broadband network for Gateshead and Sunderland.
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The winning bidders will be awarded contracts totalling an estimated £9.7m. Suppliers are expected to be appointed on 1 May next year to deals lasting 26 months.
The tender forms part of the Digital Durham programme – a £35m initiative which aims to “transform broadband speeds for residents and businesses across the north east”.
Next-generation access is typically used as an umbrella term to cover fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises networks.
The contract notice said: “The Digital Durham Programme will provide NGA broadband infrastructure… that is capable of directly supporting the local body’s long-term aspirations to be: an inspirational place with a clear sense of identity; a vibrant, strong and sustainable economy; a location for aspirational people with high levels of achievement and skills.”
Bids for contract are open until 16 February 2020.
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