Project Stratum – identifying eligible premises

Project Stratum is improving broadband connectivity, by upgrading broadband infrastructure to premises across Northern Ireland that cannot yet access Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband services. This page explains how the Department identified premises eligible for the project.

Information used and approach taken

To identify premises eligible for intervention, the Department used the following information:

  • A list of premises provided by Land and Property Services through its Pointer dataset.
  • Responses to an Open Market Review (OMR), where the Department asked broadband infrastructure suppliers to provide information that indicated the current availability of services, as well as services they planned to provide within a three-year timeframe to January 2022. The OMR exercise closed in July 2018
  • Responses to a State aid Public Consultation, which ran from December 2018 to January 2019, and provided citizens with the opportunity to raise questions or concerns about the information supplied by broadband providers
  • Additional information provided by broadband suppliers
  • Records of previous and planned interventions, including schemes administered by the Department for the Economy, other NI departments, Building Digital UK, and local councils

The outcomes of the Open Market Review and Public Consultation can be found at Extending Broadband across Northern Ireland - "Project Stratum".

The Department is obliged to ensure that we are not providing subsidies to premises already receiving an NGA service, especially where a government subsidy has already been claimed to provide such a service.

As such, we have reviewed records of beneficiaries of the Northern Ireland Broadband Improvement Programme, the Superfast Rollout Programme, Better Broadband Scheme and Rural Gigabit Scheme. We have also reviewed those who have benefitted or may benefit from Full-fibre Northern Ireland and Local Full-fibre Network schemes, and Gigabit Voucher Schemes managed by Building Digital UK.  

The Department assessed all the information received and developed what it understood to be the most up to date premises data, which was then used to define the target intervention area for Project Stratum.

What to do if you believe your premises was excluded incorrectly

In the event that any data anomalies are identified, based on information provided by citizens who believe their premises may be eligible for consideration under Project Stratum, the Department will make every reasonable effort to assess any new information provided and seek to identify potential solutions. 

Now that the contract has been awarded to make services available to the defined intervention area, it will not be possible for subsidies to be provided to connect additional premises to the network. However, premises can be considered for connection during the network rollout, if Fibrus Networks’ infrastructure is passing close to the premises and it is considered by the contractor to be commercially viable. You can register your interest in being connected to the network at HyperfastNI.

If you have any further queries or you think your premises should be included in Project Stratum, you can contact the Project Stratum team at stratum@economy-ni.gov.uk. Please provide the full address and postcode of your premises, and the current quality of available broadband.

You can check the speed estimate for your premises on Ofcom’s website at View broadband availability. Different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer different services, so you may wish to check whether any faster services are already available in your area.

We will endeavour to reply to your enquiry as soon as possible.

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