Project Stratum - introduction

Project Stratum is improving broadband connectivity by extending Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure to approximately 81,000 premises across Northern Ireland that cannot yet access NGA broadband services. Following a procurement exercise, Fibrus Networks was appointed as the contractor for Project Stratum in November 2020.


£150m was allocated to the project as a result of the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the DUP and the Conservative and Unionist Party, along with additional funding of £15m secured through the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. Further funding of £22.3m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and an additional £4.85m each from DAERA and DfE have been secured to extend the project.

This brings the total amount of available funding for Project Stratum to £197m to help deliver substantial enhancements to Internet connectivity across Northern Ireland. Broadband coverage across the intervention area may also be extended through industry investment to ensure that as many premises are served as possible.

Recent progress

The department recently undertook a Public Review to assess whether any further premises could be made eligible for Project Stratum. This is to ensure that available funding is fully utilised, as no further funding is expected. Details of this review, including the response, can be found at Project Stratum discrete state aid public review.

As a result of this review, approximately 5,000 additional eligible premises have been identified. Fibrus Networks has indicated that 1,500 of these premises are expected to be addressed through the ongoing deployment phases of the project. Fibrus Networks’ proposal requires a formal amendment to the Project Stratum contract, which is currently in the process of being considered for state aid assurance approval by Building Digital UK (BDUK). As a result, the department is unable to provide additional information regarding the contractor’s plans to connect the 1,500 premises benefitting from of this amendment to the contract.

Please go to HyperfastNI to find out if your premises is within the current target intervention area.

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