The public consultation on Implementation plans for the roll-out of Superfast Broadband is to parts of the borough where there is no broadband infrastructure and none is likely to be developed by broadband suppliers in the near future.
The Council is looking to invest £2m into the roll out project which aims to achieve superfast broadband coverage to up to 96 per cent of homes and businesses in the borough. This investment will be matched by a further £2m provided by the national broadband initiative BDUK.
Plans have been published on the Council’s website, highlighting the areas that are eligible to potentially benefit from the roll out. The final roll out will be within the overall investment of £4m. These plans have been drawn up following strict criteria set out by Government.
Feedback, comments and questions will be welcomed from broadband suppliers, businesses and residents during the month long consultation.
Government regulation allows public funding intervention to take place only in areas where there is no existing or planned (in the next three years) commercial coverage of broadband services.
The council has undertaken an Open Market Review (OMR) to establish existing and potential broadband suppliers’ current and planned commercial coverage in the borough.
The Implementation plans show:
- White areas where there is no broadband infrastructure and none is likely to be developed in the near future – it is only these areas that are allowed to get publicly funded superfast broadband coverage.
- Grey areas where 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
Following the consultation, the Implementation Plan will be used to establish what Superfast Broadband coverage can be achieved across the white areas using the available funding.
Councillor Charles Smith, cabinet member for Development, said: “This consultation is the next step towards us securing superfast broadband for nearly all homes in the borough.
“This scheme will help local businesses and residents to access the fastest available broadband.
“This will encourage greater e-commerce and interaction through digital communications.
“We hope that anyone with any comments or questions on this project will respond to the consultation.”
The plans and consultation document, which provides more details on this project, are available to view on the Council’s website.
The consultation document also sets out details of how to submit any comments or questions. The consultation will close on 6 November 2014.