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Welsh village gets broadband for 10% of BT quote

Rutland Telecom is to supply a 40Mbps fibre-based broadband service for £50,000 to about 80 homes in the Welsh village of Erbistock...

Rutland Telecom is to supply a 40Mbps fibre-based broadband service for £50,000 to about 80 homes in the Welsh village of Erbistock after BT quoted £550,000 for copper-based broadband link.

Villagers are now lobbying for the money to come from the Welsh Assembly's Regional Innovative Broadband Support (RIBS) project, which makes available up to £1,000 per household to eliminate broadband "not spots".

Rutland Telecom managing director David Lewis told the BBC it would upgrade the copper links from the exchange to the street cabinet with optical fibre and to provide a VDSL2 service from the cabinet to homes. Erbistock residents hope to be online by October.

About 8,500 premises in Wales have benefited from RIBS support.

A BT spokesman said its quote was provided initially on the basis of BT having to build an entirely new copper network in the area. "This full copper uplift job would have required major civil engineering work ... which is reflected in the costs. We are still exploring alternative solutions for the area," he said.

He said the cost of using fibre rather than copper was commercially confidential. He said the proposal for a full copper uplift was never pursued with the Welsh Assembly.

"Rutland says it can do it for £50,000 but then it is not obliged, as we are, to wholesale our service which, of course, has a big impact on cost," the BT spokesman said.

According to BT, Erbistock is linked to the Bangor-on-Dee exchange.

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