Programme Delivery Model
Broadband Delivery Programme
where communities or other private and public sector bodies could then take responsibility for extending the network capability further to individual homes. BDUK are exploring the specification of and testing of demand for options for community groups to assist in the delivery of Community Broadband Hubs. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and BDUK have set up a Rural Community Broadband Fund to allow rural communities to apply for help with small scale broadband projects.
The Broadband Delivery Programme is exploring the viability of a number of measures to assist in stimulating demand for Superfast Broadband. This will be based on working with other parties, e.g. the Race Online 2012 initiative which is seeking to recruit digital champions who can work within their community to help people get online. A significant proportion of activities related to demand stimulation actually falls under the heading of demand registration – i.e. encouraging consumers and businesses to notify their interest in Superfast Broadband retail services. BDUK is exploring the use of demand registration tools for local bodies to „brand‟ to their projects and promote within their communities.
BDUK is working with four Superfast Broadband Pilot locations: Cumbria, Herefordshire, North Yorkshire and the Highlands and Islands in Scotland. These are testing a number of different aspects. For example, from how local bodies should approach working together, how to develop and structure comprehensive Local Broadband Plans to how to address issues that will arise during the procurement of broadband solutions. BDUK will select additional broadband projects in May 2011 to commence detailed development. This will start developing a more significant pipeline of projects and will signal to the market place confirmation that there is a significant opportunity here. Following this, BDUK will move away from „rounds‟ of project selection. Instead, BDUK will operate a continuous process where local bodies will bid for funding within their own timescales.
There are a number of commercial models for the delivery of broadband services that local bodies can choose from. BDUK will be supportive of any commercial model that can be demonstrated to be value for money, and affordable for BDUK. However, examination of the different models and local bodies‟ general appetite for owning different delivery risks suggests that many will choose the model based on a simple subsidy of the private sector‟s investment gap funding for delivery of a project.
Early projects will lead their own procurement processes, and BDUK will work with these local bodies to identify the best ways to simplify and standardise procurement routes. BDUK will seek to put in place a procurement framework for the most common commercial delivery approach (investment gap funding) that further projects can call-off where appropriate. In addition, BDUK will procure a separate framework for local bodies to allow consumers and businesses to access broadband services through satellite where it is not economic to use alternative solutions.
The opportunity to be part of the delivery of broadband solutions should be attractive to the private sector. This will include organisations that are interested in the delivery of wholesale services, and organisations that may form part of their supply chain. Local broadband projects are likely to involve delivery of broadband solutions based on a mix of technologies. Service providers who offer retail services to consumers and businesses should also see opportunities in local broadband projects. BDUK aims to ensure that wholesale services offer a platform for competing retail service provision.