Information used and approach taken
To identify premises eligible for intervention, the Department used the following information:
- A list of premises provided by Land & 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 Northern Ireland 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
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.
Furthermore, Fibrus Networks has developed a Self-Build/Fund product whereby if a premises is within proximity of the network but not included in Project Stratum and there is a cost to connect them, a contribution from both Fibrus Networks and the end-user can be made to allow the property to connect to the new network. You can register your interest by emailing details to email@example.com.
The Department notes this option is for individuals to assess whether this option is preferrable to waiting for a potential future intervention.
If you have any further queries, you can contact the Project Stratum team at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.