Central Superfast - Phase 3 NGA Procurement
The Central Superfast Programme is striving to extend the availability of NGA broadband infrastructure to meet the Government’s target for 95% of the UK to have access to superfast broadband speeds by the end of 2017.
To achieve this, Central Superfast project team intends to procure further coverage of NGA broadband infrastructure (capable of delivering download speeds of at least 30 Mbps) in areas within its Programme Area where such broadband is currently unavailable, by the end of 2017. Geographically, Central Superfast covers the combined area of Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Councils. The overarching aspiration of the Local Broadband Plan was to deliver ‘NGA for all by 2020’. Central Superfast is now looking to provide NGA access to further premises across its area.
Central Superfast conducted its first Open Market Review (OMR) in April 2013. The OMR indicated that planned commercial coverage for NGA broadband would reach approximately 237,917 of premises within the next 3 years, and would therefore leave the remaining premises without access to NGA broadband. In August 2013, Central Superfast selected British Telecom (BT) under to deliver NGA broadband to these premises.
In the 2013 Spending Review, the Government announced a further allocation of funding under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) Superfast Programme, with the aim of increasing NGA coverage across the UK to at least 95% by the end of 2017. Central Superfast was allocated £3.78m of additional public funding from the BDUK Superfast Programme, and has raised match funding for this allocation from its own resources. Following an open procurement, a contract for Central Superfast (at a value of £7.57m) was awarded by Central Superfast to BT.
Central Superfast now intends to conduct a further open procurement in respect of the remaining area without NGA broadband infrastructure (known as “white NGA”), which comprises around 37,630 premises.
BDUK received approval on 26 May 2016 from the European Commission on its new National Broadband Scheme for the United Kingdom (referred to hereafter as the 2016 NBS). Central Superfast intends to conduct this further procurement under the 2016 NBS.