Monthly Archives: January 2013

BT wins another two rural fibre broadband deals – Computerworld UK

BT has kept its iron grip on government-funded regional fibre broadband deals with the announcement of two further projects in the south-west.

BT has so far won all the contracts1 signed around the country.

The largest south-west deal signed this week is the 94 million project to increase broadband speeds for businesses and residents across Devon and Somerset over the next four years.

The Connecting Devon and Somerset consortium has agreed a deal with BT which aims to deliver high-speed fibre broadband to around 90 percent of premises by the end of 2016, and to ensure a minimum 2mbps broadband speed for all.

Surveying work on the project will start immediately and the first locations to be upgraded will be announced during this spring.

BT s 41 million financial contribution will bolster the public sector investment, which includes 10 million each from Devon and Somerset county councils, 32 million government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and contributions from other public sector partners.

Average broadband speeds in the region are currently around 9mbps in Devon and around 8mbps in Somerset, whilst around 14 percent of premises across the two counties receive less than 2mbps, BT said.

Most of the programme area will use fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the telephone exchange as far as the nearest BT street cabinet.

This technology can deliver download speeds of up to 80mbps and upload speeds of up to 20mbps.

Fibre to the premises (FTTP), where the fibre runs all the way to the home or business and which can deliver a top current download speed of 330mbps, will also be available to buy in certain areas, at a premium.

BT Openreach will install the fibre network which will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis, said BT.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: “It’s projects like Connecting Devon and Somerset, the largest of all the English local authority projects, that will help achieve the government’s aim for the UK to have the best broadband in Europe by 2015.”

A similar but smaller deal has seen BT take the helm in a 35.6 million project to deliver broadband in Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire.

Wiltshire Council, in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, has agreed the project with BT, with new fibre broadband connections expected to be live from spring 2014.

Some 4.6 million of the funds for this project will come from BDUK, 15.5 million from Wiltshire Council, 2 million from South Gloucestershire Council, 12.8 million from BT and 750,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


  1. ^ Computerworld UK story on BT fibre broadband deals (

University of Surrey awarded Regius Chair in Electronic Engineering

Regius professorships are endowed by a royal patron, and twelve have just been awarded to “outstanding” university departments to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

At SSTL we are delighted that the excellence in research and teaching by the Department of Electronic Engineering at the University of Surrey will be recognised with the award of a Regius professorship by Her Majesty the Queen. SSTL works closely with our colleagues at the University of Surrey, and particularly with the Surrey Space Centre, so we applaud their success and we think it’s well deserved.

Before this award, only two Regius professorships were awarded in the last century, both at the University of Cambridge. The Department of Electronic Engineering at the University of Surrey is structured around four Centres, each of which is recognised as World-leading.

Advanced Technology Institute3 (ATI) is renowned for its work on materials and devices for future applications in electronics and photonics. Recent research has concentrated on finding novel solutions for clean energy organic-hybrid solar cells using nanostructures, and carbon-based electronic devices. The Centre for Communication Systems Research4 (CCSR) is the largest academic research group on information and communication technologies in Europe.

It specialises in broadband communications, the Internet, and the Internet of Things. Recently CCSR was awarded a Government grant to develop advanced mobile broadband internet technologies and drive the definition of 5G cellular communications standards from the UK. The Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing5 (CVSSP) researches signal processing, pattern recognition and interpretation with applications such as automatic face recognition, 3D modelling and video technology, and secure speech communications and protocols.

The Surrey Space Centre6 (SSC) is directed by SSTL’s Executive Chairman, Professor Sir Martin Sweeting and pioneers the concept of rapid-response, low-cost, highly-capable small satelliltes. The SSC have been involved in know-how transfer and training programmes for many of SSTL’s customers, providing theoretical space engineering qualifications for engineers from 16 countries, including Nigeria, Algeria, Kazakhstan and Turkey. The Centre has growing links with Caltech and JPL/NASA on the innovative use of small satellite technologies, and their research feeds into many of the technologies used by SSTL today and being developed for future missions.

Ground Station at Surrey Space Centre


30 January 2013

Back to Blog7


  1. ^ University of Surrey (
  2. ^ Surrey Space Centre (
  3. ^ Advanced Technology Institute (
  4. ^ The Centre for Communication Systems Research (
  5. ^ The Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (
  6. ^ The Surrey Space Centre (
  7. ^ Back to Blog (

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