The UK Government is investing GBP 5 billion in providing reliable gigabit capable broadband across the UK with specific emphasis to enhance coverage in rural and hard to reach areas. This Project Gigabit Spring Update shows the Government’s delivery progress to date.
Fibre operators can access the Project Gigabit fund through a competitive tendering process. In the last quarter, the Government launched two local procurements in Cornwall and two regional procurements in Norfolk and Suffolk.
In total, the Government has launched five local procurements and five regional procurements accounting for 380,050 premises valued at GBP 543 million. This values the intervention cost at just over GBP 1,430 per premise passed, as shown in 1 below.
Figure 1 - Status of Live Procurements. Source: BDUK, 29 May 2022
According to the Government they are releasing more procurements than originally planned, splitting some regional procurements into smaller local contracts to reflect suppliers’ commercial plans.
A further 23 regional procurements are expected from now until September 2023 covering an estimated 2 million premises valued at GBP 2.1 billion to GBP 3.7 billion.
Hampshire and Shropshire are likely to be the next two procurements, although according to the Statement, the level of interest from the market is uneven and may lead to further deferrals in launching procurements for Shropshire.
Responding to these tenders can be a resource intensive and complex process requiring ISPs to demonstrate wholesale / retail separation and wholesale capability in terms of network architecture, products, services, operations and pricing in addition to populating complex project finance models and developing social value capabilities.
We recently advised a rural altnet with their response and so are familiar with its needs. Please contact me if you wish to learn more about how we can support your Project Gigabit bid.