As part of this DfE, along with Building Digital UK (BDUK), is developing a procurement approach to incentivise the telecoms market to invest in delivering gigabit capable wholesale infrastructure in areas not considered to be commercially viable for new infrastructure. This procurement approach will be a successor to the much-needed Superfast broadband programme and DfE’s broadband intervention, Project Stratum.
Our goal is to ensure we target the parts of Northern Ireland that need publically funded intervention. As a first step we want to identify areas which will be left out because they are not commercially viable.
DfE carried out an Open Market Review (OMR) - Request for Information (RFI) which closed on 27 January 2023 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). The Department sought responses from all existing and prospective broadband infrastructure suppliers that operate, or are planning to operate, within Northern Ireland. The background to the consultation is available:
Public review - request for information
Having assessed the responses to the OMR, we undertook a Public Review to validate the results of the OMR, including seeking validation of the eligibility of the premises for subsidy. The Public Review took place between 5 June 2023 and 6 July 2023
The Public Review – Request For Information document is at:
- Project Gigabit NI public review - request for information
- Northern Ireland public review postcode list
DfE also made available an address checker to provide information on gigabit broadband coverage at:
Members of the public and other respondents were also able to provide information through the Citizen Space website at:
We’ve received a range of responses and are currently evaluating these before making our final determinations.
The next step will be to undertake an assessment of the responses to the Public Review (PR). We will continue to work on clarifications where necessary as part of the evaluation process. DfE will publish a summary report outlining postcode level maps of the final Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) which have been designated as ‘white’ and eligible for subsidy under the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy scheme. DfE will then consider if Government intervention is required and, if so, will take forward further work to develop the business case to support this intervention.