Programme Delivery Model
Broadband Delivery Programme
Completing Standard Broadband coverage
The need to support an edge of network experience will differ from one local area to another. The requirements developed by BDUK will lead to SLAs which will support an edge of network experience of 2Mbps and above. The challenge for the local body is to minimise the proportion of Standard Broadband, and maximise that of Superfast Broadband within an envelope of affordability. This will be heavily dependent on the suppliers‟ assumed level of take-up as at low levels the local broadband project might only be able to afford a large degree of Standard Broadband. However, at a similar level of Superfast take-up to today‟s level of take-up of existing broadband services, Superfast Broadband might reach much deeper in to the market, if not to the edge of network.
This is a trade-off between coverage, affordability and risk. The latter pertains to the assumed level of take-up and how bold bidders will be in their projections and financial models. Contract provisions for the „claw-back‟ of public subsidy are a recognised model for addressing this risk in setting low take-up commitments that are subsequently bettered. However, setting too low a commitment will restrict capability, introduce early upgrade costs and possibly constrain the extent of provision of Superfast Broadband – so creating a sub-optimal solution for residential consumers and businesses.
Suppliers who are contracted under local broadband projects will have to find the optimum mix of technologies within their broadband solutions. In addition other suppliers in the market place may choose to make available their services in areas where these are commercially viable. To ensure that at least Standard Broadband is available to remaining consumers and businesses, BDUK envisage that it will provide the ability for the local body or supplier (under the local broadband contract) to make available broadband services delivered by satellite. This is discussed further in section 13.
Use of enterprise networks in the public sector
For local bodies, there is the opportunity for suppliers of broadband solutions to make use of existing and planned investments in enterprise networks used by public sector organisations. This could be in the form of providing access to public sector enterprise network infrastructure and/or services to leverage those assets, services and expenditure to get the best Superfast Broadband upgrades possible. Or it may involve re-using broadband infrastructure to lower the investment required in future public sector enterprise networks.
Issues that need to be addressed include:
Procurement issues – including whether contracts allow for use for the delivery of broadband services;
Commercial issues – including whether the key commercial terms of the contract are suitable, and whether the exit provisions provide for continuity of services;
State Aid issues;
Technical issues – including provision for the adequate separation of community and public sector traffic; and
Operational issues – including whether the network provider can perform the necessary business processes to provide products to a commercial operator, and whether the physical location of the infrastructure (e.g. in schools and other public sector locations) restricts access inside or outside of working hours.
Local bodies will need to gather adequate data on the assets that are available for re-use, whether under a single contract, or under multiple smaller contracts. This could usefully include information on public sector investment in route upgrades by network operators 45