Digital Region project moves to the next stagebsg
Following an EU procurement process, Thales, along with bid partners Alcatel Lucent and Kingston Communication, have been chosen as the preferred bidder to deliver the Digital Region project, which will provide a next generation access network to approximately 600,000 homes across South Yorkshire.
Four local authorities in the South Yorkshire area have put the Digital Region project together. The key aim is to create an infrastructure for the region that will spur economic regeneration, offering high bandwidth broadband that will encourage knowledge-based business to the region and provide the opportunity for business located in the region to offer new services and enter new markets. The project, it is hoped, will also partially address the digital divide in the region: only around 20% of households have taken up a broadband service.
Industry, government and regional development agencies are watching this project with interest. Current debate around if, how and when the public sector should intervene in the investment in next generation access technologies has yet to provide a clear consensus amongst stakeholders. The outcome of this project will go some way to clarifying this debate, and providing experience to inform models for possible further public sector interventions elsewhere in the UK.