Project Stratum - introduction

Project Stratum aims to improve broadband connectivity by extending Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure to approximately 79,000 premises across Northern Ireland that cannot yet access NGA broadband services.


£150m has been allocated to the project as a result of the Confidence and Supply Agreement, along with additional funding of £15m secured through the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

This brings the total amount of available funding for Project Stratum to £165m 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 has published its response to a public consultation on the proposed intervention area for the £165m project, which seeks to improve connectivity for those unable to access broadband services of 30 Mbps or greater. The intervention area has been determined following an Open Market Review (OMR) exercise carried out through June and July 2018, followed by the OMR State aid public consultation, which ran from the start of December 2018 to January 2019.

The report can be found at: Extending broadband across Northern Ireland - Project Stratum

Since publication of the above report the Department has been informed of a data refresh exercise undertaken by some infrastructure suppliers which completed in January 2020 and which has, along with other updates, had an impact on the intervention area. Upon receipt of the updated supplier data the number of premises requiring intervention under Project Stratum will be reduced. The revised number is just below 79,000 premises and an Addendum to the OMR can be found at: Extending broadband across Northern Ireland - Project Stratum

The robust tender evaluation process for Project Stratum was followed by the necessary governance procedures in advance of Building Digital UK (BDUK) State aid Quality Assurance and final approval. The contract for Project Stratum has been awarded to Fibrus Networks Ltd. A portal has been developed by Fibrus to provide information to citizens on key aspects of implementation, including planned phasing and full deployment of NGA broadband infrastructure across the target intervention area. The information will be updated and expanded on a regular basis.

Please go to HyperfastNI for further details.

Below is a bar chart indicating premises currently confirmed to benefit from Project Stratum, illustrated by Local Government District.

For those using assistive technology, the data is presented in table format below the image.

Premises to be passed under Project Stratum* by Local Government District
Local Government District Premises
Fermanagh and Omagh 14,821
Mid Ulster 12,289
Newry, Mourne and Down 11,852
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon 10,080
Causeway Coast and Glens 6,268
Antrim and Newtownabbey 4,932
Mid and East Antrim 4,694
Lisburn and Castlereagh 3,914
Ards and North Down 3,684
Derry City and Strabane 3,545
Belfast 154

* 3 per cent of premises in the target intervention area currently not in scope for Project Stratum will also be addressed through this intervention and further details to be announced at a later date.

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