Public Consultation 2014

Update 11 November 2014: This public consultation is now closed.

Submissions from Communications Providers, businesses and members of the public are no longer accepted for the Superfast Extension Programme Public Consultation 2014. The deadline for submissions was 10.11.2014.

Public Consultation 2014 – To define State Aid intervention areas.

Worcestershire County Council is working to extend better coverage of broadband across Worcestershire, beyond the reach of commercially-funded deployments. As a result of this the County Council is beginning a third procurement to extend the coverage of superfast broadband within Worcestershire.

Superfast Worcestershire (in deployment)

Superfast Worcestershire is a partnership between Worcestershire County Council and BT that began in August 2013, it will be delivering;

  • Next Generation Access (NGA) to nearly 55,000 rural homes and businesses
  • 90% of business premises in Worcestershire will have the ability to access high-speed fibre Broadband
  • High-speed fibre Broadband will be available to at least 90% of Worcestershire residents.
  • Everyone in the county is expected to have access to broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps by June 2016

Broadband Community Pathfinder (delivered)

Alongside supplier Airband (contracted January 2013) Worcestershire County Council has made available enhanced basic broadband speeds across 14 rural parishes across in Worcestershire as identified below.

  • Little Witley Parish
  • North-West Malvern Consortium - Comprising the parishes of: Bockleton, Kyre, Hanley, Rochford, Eastham, Lindridge, Mamble and Bayton.
  • The Redditch Travel Arc Consortium - Comprising the parishes of: Tibberton, Crowle, part of Hanbury, Stock and Bradley and Feckenham

Superfast Extension Programme

In the 2013 Spending Review, the Government announced a further allocation of funding for broadband under the BDUK Superfast Phase 2 Programme, with the aim of increasing coverage across the UK to 95% by 2017.

In 2014, Worcestershire County Council was successful in securing additional public funding of £4.78m to extend the availability of superfast broadband (at least 24Mbps) across Worcestershire with the ambition to reach a minimum coverage of 95% by the end of 2017.

In September 2014 the county council conducted an Open Market review (OMR), consulting with over 90 existing, prospective or current broadband infrastructure providers in the area, to establish any current and planned (next 3 years) commercial coverage of broadband services. The data gathered, in addition to the areas expected to be served through the Superfast Phase 1 deployment, has been used to redefine the scope of the eligible Intervention Area for the next stage of the project.

Please note that “Grey” and “Black” areas have changed. At the start of the project we had to ask providers where they would be supplying superfast broadband by 2015 and the results were mapped using the BDUK-approved methodology. As we are now in the procurement stages of the second project we have again asked suppliers for their proposed rollout, and this has led to a shrinkage of coverage from some areas which the providers have chosen not to cover under their commercial programmes. As mapping is by postcode, it is also possible that the provider may have found that only a proportion of the premises within the postcode were upgraded last time, hence the postcode would change to white indicating that there is still more to do.

Public Consultation

Worcestershire County Council is now conducting a 1 month State Aid Public Consultation on the proposed Intervention areas. This is an opportunity for the public, telecommunications providers, businesses and other stakeholders to comment on the Intervention Areas, ensuring that the county councils representation of their commercial plans is correct.

The information gathered will be used to compose a final Intervention Area proposal to ensure the additional public funding is used to target areas that will extend Superfast Worcestershire's deployment plan to 95% of Worcestershire premises.

We require responses to this request for information no later than 10 November 2014.

Please send your responses to:

Ste Ashton,
Senior Project Manager,
Corporate Programmes Team,
Worcestershire County Council,
Spetchley Road,
WR5 2NP

or via email to Superfast team with Broadband Public Consultation Response in the subject. Should you have any queries or require further information in respect of this Public Consultation, please email to Superfast team.