Programme Delivery Model
Broadband Delivery Programme
10.3 Developing community projects
It is expected that local bodies and Devolved Administrations will engage with their local communities to encourage involvement, contribution and commitment, especially in terms of their demand and pre-registration for services. This principle equally extends to promoting a degree of individual consumer contribution and commitment to a local broadband project to stimulate and register demand. It also allows the consideration of local variations to aggregated/common requirements, as constrained by deliverability and affordability.
Where there are existing community based projects, the Local Broadband Plan will need to be developed to take them into account. Local bodies are also responsible for working with communities that wish to develop their own local projects to fit them within a Local Broadband Plan.
BDUK and local bodies will support the development of community projects with help and guidance in a number of areas including technology approaches, policy and regulation, project planning, social enterprise, demand stimulation and mapping. Under some circumstances, a funding contribution may also be available from the Rural Community Broadband Fund (see section 10.4.5 below).
The Broadband Delivery Programme has encouraged the development of a community broadband portal8, supported by a small amount of government funding. The portal should provide several functions:
A register for all community broadband projects in the country. People are able to enter their postcode on the site to find projects that may already be underway in their area;
An information resource for communities wanting to set up their own community broadband project. Some of the information has been developed specifically for the portal and some is present elsewhere with links provided;
A resource for local bodies to use for community engagement if they wish; and
A place for communities to share information and experiences.
Delivering community projects
In the majority of cases, community groups will not be involved in the actual delivery of the broadband infrastructure. It is expected that they will concentrate on:
Raising awareness about the local broadband project being undertaken in their area;
Undertaking work to stimulate demand; and
Working with local bodies to have their community‟s needs reflected in the Local Broadband Plan.
In a minority of cases the community may become involved in the delivery of broadband infrastructure. This is expected to happen where the proposed broadband investment will not otherwise meet the community expectations. It may involve the use of a Community Broadband Hub.
There are several further ways a community may choose to be involved:
Funding: To fund the network upgrade communities may come together to find potential funding sources. This may include bidding for EU funding, looking to the Parish Council or raising money themselves, including in the form of loans. This latter example has been used in the village of Lyddington, where various members of the community have come