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State aid refers to forms of assistance (including funding) given by a public body to any undertaking or business which is providing goods and services in a particular commercial market and where such assistance has the potential to distort competition and affect trade between member states of the European Union.

In relation to the programme this means that we can’t spend the funding in areas where there is already a provision or planned provision in the next few years for Superfast Broadband. We did an Open Market Review before we issued the tender to suppliers to identify what services were currently being provided commercially. This gave us the White, Grey and Black areas, defined below:

  • white areas - no broadband infrastructure and none is likely to be developed in the near future
  • grey areas - one network operator is present and another network is unlikely to be developed in the near future
  • black areas - where there are, or there will be in the near future, at least two network operators

If your postcode isn’t in a White area then it isn’t eligible for intervention.

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