A Yorkshire-based wireless Internet service provider (ISP) has won a £2m contract with the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) rural high speed access plan – up until now dominated by BT.
BDUK aims to see 95% of country with access to superfast broadband, defined by HMG as speeds of at least 2Mbps by 2017.
Quickline Communications has now been granted funding to deliver a pilot scheme that will explore how the superfast Internet coverage can be achieved.
The study, which will run in North Lincolnshire, is due to start this month with deployment set for September.
It is hoped the feasibility pilot will help identify the technology and operating and financial models needed to achieve the government’s target.
“As an independent wireless ISP this pilot scheme contract is an unprecedented win, the largest in this tendering process,” claimed Quickline managing director Steve Jagger.
“The legacy of this project will be a commercially managed fully functioning sustainable network and a white paper on this innovative route to delivering a superfast broadband to all, at low cost.
“This will be alongside a technical whitepaper on the most suitable technologies to use and their performance in the real world,” he added.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid welcomed the news, claiming he was “encouraged” by the progress of the BDUK scheme.
“Our nationwide rollout is progressing at a terrific rate and each week superfast speeds are becoming reality for tens of thousands of homes and businesses in rural areas across the UK,” Javid added.
“We know how important [rural broadband] has become - which is why we are investing £10m in these pilots to explore how we can extend coverage beyond the 95% of the UK we are on track to deliver to by 2017,” he added.
The government has also released new funding specifically targeted at female entrepreneurs wish to grow their businesses online.
As part of BDUK, £1m will be made available to women in order to help them make the most of opportunities presented by faster Internet speeds.
“There are thousands of women running some amazing small businesses all over the UK but they still make up just a fifth of all small businesses,” claimed Minister for Women Nicky Morgan.
“As part of our long-term economic plan for Britain we are determined to do everything we can to support women to start-up businesses and create more jobs and opportunities to hardworking people,” Morgan added.
Wales also has its own version of BDUK, dubbed Superfast Cymru.