Project Gigabit

The government’s ambition is to deliver nationwide gigabit-capable broadband as soon as possible. DfE recognises that there is a need for government intervention in the parts of the country that are not commercially viable. The UK government has committed £5 billion for the hardest to reach parts of the country, ensuring that all areas of the UK can benefit. This will be spent through a package of coordinated and mutually supportive interventions, collectively known as Project Gigabit.

Introduction

As part of this DfE, along with Building Digital UK (BDUK), is developing a procurement approach for funding contracts to suppliers delivering gigabit-capable wholesale infrastructure. This procurement approach will be a successor to the highly successful Superfast broadband programme and Project Stratum.

Our goal is to ensure we target the parts of Northern Ireland that need government support. As a first step we want to identify areas which will be left out because they are not commercially viable.

DfE is launching an Open Market Review (OMR) Request for Information (RFI) to establish existing and planned coverage of broadband services within the aforementioned geographic area outlined above over the next three years (and beyond, if available). We seek responses from all existing and prospective broadband infrastructure suppliers that operate, or are planning to operate, within Northern Ireland.

We will then conduct a Public Review to validate the results of the OMR, including seeking validation of the eligibility of the premises for subsidy. The Public Review will take place over the period of at least one month, and once concluded will confirm the eligibility of the premises for procurement(s). The full details of these procurements will follow the conclusion of this OMR and Public Review.

Open Market Review – Request for Information

On 9 December 2022, the department launched a consultation Project Gigabit – Open Market Review – Request for Information". The consultation closes on 27 January 2023.

The background to the consultation and how to respond are available:

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