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Broadband coverage - Public Review


Building Digital UK (BDUK) and ourselves carried out a Public Review to help identify areas in the North East of England, Scottish and North Yorkshire borders that may be suitable for future public funding for gigabit capable broadband.

Background

The Government wants to have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband as soon as possible. While great progress is being made, the Government is aware it needs to help in the parts of the country that are not commercially feasible. 

£5 billion was committed in the 2020 budget to ensure that all areas of the UK can benefit equally. The funding will be spent under a range of projects known as Project Gigabit. As part of this, BDUK, which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will fund contracts for suppliers to deliver gigabit-capable wholesale infrastructure to the hardest to reach areas.

To access the funding, we had to carry out an Open Market Review followed by a  Public Review.

An Open Market Review (OMR) took place in April 2021. This OMR asked for information from suppliers on their existing and planned broadband coverage over the next three years. We now want to validate the information gathered through a Public Review process.

What we consulted on

We checked the information gathered in the OMR through a Public Review process so that:

Through the public review, anyone with an interest (including the public, businesses, internet service providers and broadband infrastructure operators) could provide us with feedback about the proposed eligible areas for government investment (intervention). Postcodes were defined by a colour - white areas are potentially eligible for future investment.

Suppliers who missed contributing to the preceding OMR had a final opportunity to notify us and BDUK of any plans or evidence before the commissioning stage.

Broadband coverage areas

Each postcode was classified as the name of a colour. White areas are potentially eligible for future investment.

  • white - no existing qualifying gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure with download speeds of 1,000 Mbps or more and none is likely to be developed within three years
  • conditional white - these are areas where suppliers have reported planned commercial gigabit-capable broadband coverage, but those plans have been judged through the OMR as potentially being at risk of not being completed
  • grey - one qualifying broadband infrastructure provider offers gigabit-capable services with download speeds of 1,000 Mbps or more now or plans to within the next three years
  • black - more than one broadband infrastructure provider offers gigabit-capable services with download speeds of 1,000 Mbps or more now or plans to within the next three years
  • orange - no data available

You were able to view the classification of a particular postcode by either using the postcode checker or postcode classifications spreadsheet, , so you could let us know if the classification truly reflects the broadband coverage in that particular area.  

Residents and businesses

Residents and businesses were able to use the following ways to see what a particular postcode is classed as:

Suppliers

If you missed contributing to the OMR, or did not have clear plans or evidence at that stage, you were given a final opportunity to notify us and BDUK before the procurement stage.

More information is available in the Icon for pdf Project Gigabit Request for Information document (PDF, 4.1mb) .

Have your say

The closing date for comments was Sunday 18 July 2021 at 5.00pm.

What happens next

BDUK are now considering all submitted comments. The finalised maps detailing the Intervention Areas for gigabit-capable broadband coverage will be made available Summer 2021.

BDUK will then move to the Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage of the procurement, where suppliers are invited to bid for the opportunity to deliver gigabit-capable broadband coverage.

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