The Government via BDUK has a programme to improve broadband infrastructure.
- provide superfast broadband coverage to 90% of the UK by 2016
Superfast Broadband Programme
The aim is to provide superfast broadband (speeds of 24Mbps or more) for at least 95% of UK premises and universal access to basic broadband (speeds of at least 2Mbps). The programme is being delivered in three phases:
- Phase 1 aims to provide superfast broadband to 90% of premises in the UK
Phases 1 and 2 of the Programme involve BDUK giving grant funding to local bodies here it is Fastershire. They procure the infrastructure for superfast broadband for their areas. BDUK developed a framework contract which local bodies can use to buy the services from a supplier, BT.
Local bodies may also procure the infrastructure for superfast broadband without using the framework. BDUK advises and supports each local body during procurement and subsequent contract management. Total estimated tax payer funding for phases 1 and 2 is approximately £1.7 billion.
Superfast extension Programme (Phase 2)
The Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) (which includes a new phase of procurement which is due to conclude early next year) is the next step in the Government’s programme. SEP represents a further £250 million investment with an ambition to extend Superfast Broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017. Taxpayers will contribute in Gloucestershire a maximum of £4.2m from the County and £5.46m from BDUK . Information on the proposal for the next stage in the Cotswolds is here.
The National Audit Office reviewed the Phase 1 rollout and found in the January 2015 report that:-
"... the Programme was £142 million (38%) under the estimated price, including work in progress not yet invoiced." even after adjustments "...BT would still have spent approximately £92 million (25%) less than its contracted forecast" source NAO report.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has stated "The savings realised so far, along with with projected future savings, will be reinvested in extending the current rollout plans." source BBC
With the Cotswolds moving outside the BDUK delivery framework connection will be via the Altnet Gigaclear.
Within BDUK’s BT contract for Phase 1 and 2 there is a
clawback mechanism where;
- Lower actual deployment costs than forecast;
- Higher actual take-up of broadband products than forecast; and
- Higher actual revenues from 'non-broadband' products than forecast will be returned by BT more details here.
In particular for every 10% of uptake above 20% the supplier returns part of the taxpayer subsidy "__so, if we go from 20% take-up to 30%—£120 million is returned to the programme for reinvestment. If we get to 40%, it is £240 million, and if we get to 50%, it is £360 million." Chris Townsend CEO BDUK.
There is a commitment to spend this money to extend the BDUK rollout. With Phase 1 not complete across the counties uptake in the Fastershire area of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire:
End of March 2014 = 7.31%
End of June 2014 = 12.22%
End of September 2014 = 13.40%
End of December 2014 = 17.1%
End of March 2015 = 20.3%
"Mr McKenzie: Do you review the work of local government? Do you look at where they are delivering?
For example, do you sit down and look at the map that we have already seen and say, “Okay, you have delivered 90%,
but we can easily see how you have managed that. What about here, here and here?”?
Chris Townsend: Absolutely, and as we are drawing to the end of phase 1, we are already reviewing the success that we have achieved to date. We are looking at the additional savings that we are making, because as we are working with BT - I mentioned earlier that we have the smart contract management process in place - we are monitoring all BT’s expenditure and we are already receiving significant savings from the first deployment of phase 1, through the smart contract management. We are already deploying those additional funds to extend phase 1 further into deeper rural areas. That is going on with each of the local bodies - we are planning that. Once we finish that further deployment, we are hoping to go seamlessly into phase 2 so that there is not a break between them."