Issue details

Change Request approvals for the Stage 3 Gigaclear contracts

Fastershire the deployment of broadband across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, using public funds where commercial providers wouldn’t invest independently because of the cost of delivery would be more than their return on investment.
The decision was made by both Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council in December 2019 to increase the budget of the Gigaclear contracts by up to 10% in order to reach more premises.
The recommendations were that:
(a) £1.8m of additional subsidy is used to extend the scope of the Gigaclear contracts (subject to state aid approval), in order to extend the full fibre broadband network to no less than 5,485 extra premises of which at least 872 premises do not currently receive superfast broadband;
(b) The Assistant Director Corporate Support be authorised to take all operational decisions necessary to implement the above recommendation.
It is the premises with under 30Mbps (referred to as NGA White) that the funding was targeted to reach with the additional ‘NGA Grey’ premises (already able to access 30Mbps) receiving an uplift from FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) to FTTP (fibre to the premise). This ‘overspill’ will ultimately reduce the longer term challenge as the target moves from superfast to full fibre capability in the future.
Following an adaption of the project finance models to cater for BDUK’s request to focus the contracts on a subset of 493 benefitting premises, the required funding has reduced to £1.55m and an increase in Gigaclear’s proposed contribution by £189k. Aside from the ‘white’ premises, a further 4,993 will also benefit. A total of 835 of the 5,486 benefitting premises do not currently have access to superfast broadband.
Note: report contains table with Lot information
It is agreed that these changes be formally encapsulated in a series of Deeds of Variation. It is also agreed that the changes proposed within the Lot 3d area are incorporated into the Lot 3d Deed so it does not inhibit the closure of the near complete Lot 3d.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 26/04/2021

Decision due: 23 April 2021 by Assistant director Corporate Support

Contact: Natalia Silver, Assistant Director Corporate Support Email: Tel: 01432260732.