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Digital Durham 2019 broadband consultation

We carried out a consultation to help us to identify areas that may be suitable for future public funding for superfast broadband.


Digital Durham is working to provide superfast broadband in the council areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland). We work in partnership with Broadband Delivery (BDUK), which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Digital Durham contracts with suppliers who receive public funding to provide superfast broadband in areas where it is either not available or not included in any future commercial plans. Decisions on where this public funding can be spent are made following consultation and state aid approval. 

Last year, we asked broadband providers to supply information on their existing coverage, in addition to plans for the next three years for both basic and superfast broadband. This information was used to draft a classification of supply in the area and for individual premises.

What were we consulting on?

To make sure that we invest in the right areas, we consulted on the draft classification of superfast broadband coverage for postcode areas.

Broadband suppliers, residents, businesses and all other organisations had the opportunity to comment on classifications, ask questions, and if necessary provide evidence to change a classification if you feel it is incorrect.

The table below shows a description of the classifications for Next Generation Access (NGA) superfast broadband coverage.

NGA superfast classificationDescription
WhiteNo existing or future commercial plans to provide NGA services with download speeds of 30Mbps or more.


One broadband infrastructure provider offers NGA services with download speeds of 30Mbps or more now or plans to within the next three years.
BlackMore than one broadband infrastructure provider offers NGA services with download speeds of 30Mbps or more now or plans to within the next three years.
Under reviewOne or more broadband providers plan to offer download speeds of 30Mbps or more within the next three years, but there is some uncertainty about their plans and they are 'at risk' of not being completed. Classifying an area or premise as "under review" provides Digital Durham with the opportunity to change this classification in the future should the plans not materialise. The change in classification will mean the area or premise may be considered for public funds in the future, if available.

You can view the superfast classification of a particular postcode in the postcode classifications spreadsheet:

Icon for excel Postcode classifications (XLS, 2.1mb)

Have your say

The closing date for comments was Wednesday 12 June 2019 at 5.00pm.

What happens next?

The consultation to decide and agree the areas that public funding can be used to upgrade broadband infrastructure, closed on 12 July 2019. These areas have been classified as 'white' and are collectively known as the 'Intervention Area'.

The finalised state aid maps detailing the Intervention Area for Next Generation Access (NGA) Broadband and Basic Broadband are available in Icon for pdf Consultation closure note (PDF, 742.5kb) .

We are now working on the launch of an Invitation to Tender (ITT) to suppliers to bid for the opportunity of a new contract to deliver further superfast broadband coverage. The three councils intended to benefit from this procurement are Durham County Council, Gateshead Council and Sunderland City Council. We hope to have further information by April 2020.

Contact us
Digital Durham
Our address is:
  • Education Development Centre
  • Enterprise Way
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6YP
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