Decision details

Broadband (Agenda Item 8)

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To provide information on delivery of the first Better Broadband for Norfolk contract and potential steps towards achieving 95% coverage in Norfolk through a second contract, Super-Fast Extension Programme.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

the £950,000 for the Better Broadband for Norfolk Programme (Super-Fast Extension Programme) that was agreed in principle at Council on 17 July 2014 be released.  This funding will enable delivery of the programme and achieve 95% broadband coverage in Norfolk County; and

 

the concept of participating in the Satellite Voucher Scheme be agreed.

 

Reasons for the decision:

Members will recall agreeing to a contribution of £950,000 to further extend broadband coverage within the district, which was subject to being satisfied that value for money was achieved. Appendix A has been provided by the BBfN officer who will be attending the Cabinet meeting to answer any questions.

 

Every county’s first contract included dedicated funding for a ‘Phase 9’ to meet the Government’s commitment to offer at least a Basic Broadband speed of 2Mbps for every property.

 

The Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) team has been developing a single national Satellite Voucher Scheme which will be available in mid-December. The scheme will:

 

-        Run for two years from December 2015 to December 2017

 

-        Be available for premises that have access to speeds of less than 2Mbps, and where a fibre solution is not yet confirmed following survey

 

-        The scheme will be accessible via the Better Broadband for Norfolk website. Eligible applicants will be issued with a subsidy code that can be used with a number of approved satellite providers

 

This is not intended as a substitute for Superfast Broadband, it is for those people who do not even have access to a Basic broadband speed. If a Superfast solution becomes possible it will be implemented.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - Release the funding for the BBfN, Super-fast extension programme to enable delivery, which will contribute to 6% uplift in coverage in Breckland, taking Breckland to 94%. This is detailed in the table within Appendix A.

 

            Option 2 - Do Nothing – Do not agree to release the funding then Breckland would remain at 88% coverage and would not benefit from the 6% uplift.

Publication date: 06/01/2016

Date of decision: 05/01/2016

Decided at meeting: 05/01/2016 - Cabinet

Effective from: 14/01/2016

Accompanying Documents: