State Aid Public Consultation - May 2014
Date: May 2014
In summer 2012 Hampshire County Council undertook an Open Market Review (OMR). Suppliers of broadband infrastructure were invited to provide information about their planned coverage areas for the next 3 years and this revealed that almost 80% of properties in Hampshire would be able to access superfast broadband as a result of commercially funded investment.
Following this OMR Hampshire County Council undertook a procurement exercise in conjunction with the Department for Media and Sport (DCMS) and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) to extend coverage from 80% to 90% properties across the county. A contract was signed with BT in March 2013 and Openreach is delivering the improved infrastructure, by the end of 2015 more than 59,000 phone lines will have been upgraded to be capable of delivering superfast broadband, a minimum speed of 24Mbps.
Hampshire County Council has issued a public consultation document to summarise the planned approach to extending coverage of superfast broadband to more premises in Hampshire, which includes details of funding allocations and the proposed procurement process.
DCMS has set an additional target to extend coverage from 90% to at least 95% by the end of 2017 and Hampshire has been awarded £9.2m of grant funding by BDUK to achieve this. Hampshire County Council has agreed to match this funding with up to £9.2m.
In addition to the allocated funding of £18.4m the County Council has identified that up to £2.6m of funds could become available during the lifetime of the contract, although at this point the funding sources for this additional £2.6m expenditure have not been identified.
During April 2014 the County Council undertook an additional OMR to take into account changes in coverage since summer 2012. Two new state aid maps have been produced:
The map shows the areas considered to be Next Generation Access (NGA) Black, Grey or White, using the following criteria:
Black: Postcode where premises are served by two infrastructure providers capable of delivering superfast broadband infrastructure. In the case of BT (Openreach) infrastructure this is deemed to be a service delivered over a fibre based infrastructure (VDSL/FTTC) with a minimum speed of 15Mbps.
Grey: Postcode where premises are served by one infrastructure provider. In the case of BT (Openreach) infrastructure this is deemed to be service delivered over a fibre based infrastructure (VDSL/FTTC) with a minimum speed of 15Mbps.
White: At least one premise in the postcode cannot access an NGA compliant broadband service.
NGA - National Broadband Scheme and Broadband Guidelines define NGA as follows (Paragraph 53) -
NGA networks are understood to have at least the following characteristics: (i) deliver services reliably at a very high speed per subscriber through optical (or equivalent technology) backhaul sufficiently close to user premises to guarantee the actual delivery of the very high speed; (ii) support a variety of advanced digital services including converged all-IP services; and (iii) have substantially higher upload speeds (compared to basic broadband networks). At the current stage of market and technological development, NGA networks are: (i) fibre-based access networks (FTTx) ( 72 ); (ii) advanced upgraded cable networks ( 73 ); and (iii) certain advanced wireless access networks capable of delivering reliable high speeds per subscriber ( 74 ).
Hampshire County Council has also made available a list of postcodes (correct via Royal Mail at November 2013) with their state aid classification so that potential suppliers can provide additional information if they have plans to offer services in any of the areas identified as NGA or Basic Broadband White.
Your views on this consultation are invited. Submissions should be made no later than 10 July 2014 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or write to:
Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme
Hampshire County Council
Rm 137 EII South