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The Broadband East Riding Project is aiming to extend the availability of Superfast Broadband across the East Riding of Yorkshire.
The Broadband East Riding conducted its most recent public consultation between 18th December 2014 and 19th January 2015 as a precursor to the selection of British Telecommunications (BT) in June 2015 for its Phase 2 project under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme to deliver Superfast Broadband to the defined intervention area with State aid approved public funding of £5m. This followed the award of the Phase 1 project to BT on September 2013 with State aid approved public funding of £10.5m.
The contracts with BT included provisions to ensure that the full amount of the public funding is deployed, and that in the event that take-up of superfast broadband services exceeds forecasts in the contracts, then the amount of public subsidy required would subsequently be reduced to reflect this. Any funds released are then available to be reinvested into further coverage of Superfast Broadband under the terms of the contracts.
In August 2015, BT announced that take-up across the UK was likely to exceed the forecast level of 20%. To date, BT has made available up to £129m across the UK to meet the contractual obligations outlined above. Broadband East Riding has received an initial allocation of £ 2.26m and intends to reinvest this in further coverage as part of the current contracts.
The purpose of this public consultation is to confirm the areas which do not have Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure delivering at least 30Mbps, or where there are no plans to provide such infrastructure over the next three years. These are described as "white NGA areas". This is to enable all interested stakeholders - the public, businesses and telecommunications providers - to comment on the proposed white NGA areas before further coverage is committed.
Broadband East Riding will then submit its final proposals for the NGA white area, taking account of the outcome of the public consultation, to BDUK's National Competence Centre for clearance.
Broadband East Riding identified a number of postcodes as 'conditional white' or 'under review' having concluded its phase 2 consultation in January 2015. These postcodes are where operators may have existing coverage or future planned coverage and therefore, Broadband East Riding implemented a monitoring plan as set out in paragraph 65 of the Broadband Guidelines for these areas in order to evidence NGA services would be available over the 3 year horizon from consultation launch.
As part of this gainshare consultation Broadband East Riding will make further contact with the operators classified as under review in order to determine their existing and planned coverage across the county as part of Broadband East Riding monitoring plan. Should area(s) fall away from existing and future plans having concluded its review with operators, Broadband East Riding may consider bringing these areas into scope for further funding and increase coverage under the programme.
Broadband East Riding will also make further contact with operators to establish that the areas identified in the phase 2 consultation can still be delivered. Broadband East Riding will engage with these operators as part of the gainshare consultation to establish their commercial plans to deliver in the areas detailed in Annex B - postcodes marked under review. Should these commercial plans fall away Broadband East Riding may consider bringing these areas into scope under the programme.
This State Aid public consultation will be open and run for one calendar month from 18th July 2016 until 18th August 2016.
Once the State aid public consultation is complete and the white NGA areas have been finalised by the Broadband East Riding Team, a change will be agreed by the local body and BT to deliver the extended Superfast Broadband coverage.
This section provides a brief overview of NGA mapping for the purpose of informing responses to this State Aid public consultation. NGA and basic maps for Broadband East Riding can be found at Annex A of this document.
The European Union State Aid rules are designed to ensure that any use of public funding ('State Aid') is targeted at areas of market failure and produces positive market outcomes while minimising any distortion to competition.
The State Aid rules require public interventions to be targeted so as to limit the risk of crowding-out or disincentivising existing and/or concrete planned private sector investments that would otherwise meet the desired policy objectives. In the context of broadband, the 2012 State Aid Decision permits the use of public funding only to extend broadband coverage in geographic areas where there is no provision of Superfast Broadband and it is unlikely to be developed in the near future (within the next three years).
The 'EU Guidelines for the application of State aid rules in relation to the rapid deployment of broadband networks' (2013/C 25/01) can be found at: http://eur- lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2013:025:0001:0026:EN:PDF. The objective of the further investment is to provide access to NGA infrastructure which is capable of delivering access line speeds of at least 30Mbps.
The objective of this intervention is to target the reinvestment funding at areas that were designated as white NGA areas through the previous public consultation carried out by Broadband East Riding on 19th January 2015 and where there have subsequently been no plans to deploy as part of the existing contract between Broadband East Riding of Yorkshire Council and BT. In addition, the NGA white areas mapped in this public consultation also include areas mapped as NGA grey in the previous consultation but where the local body has since received information that a supplier no longer has a network footprint or that a supplier's planned deployment for the area has changed.
Broadband East Riding has changed its mapping approach from that used in its previous public consultation and now identifies NGA white areas as those with speeds below 30Mbps, whereas they had previously only been identified as NGA white areas where they had speeds below 24Mbps . This has had the impact of increasing the NGA white areas on the map in Annex [A].
Nevertheless, it remains the intention of Broadband East Riding in this intervention to target white NGA areas with the greatest need for improvement.
The areas being targeted by the local body are identified as [white] on the map at Annex [A] to this document. The remaining NGA white areas are identified as green on the map.
The information requested is specified in the following section (Section 5). When responding to this request, the Broadband East Riding Team would be grateful if you could provide the following:
We also request confirmation from an authorised signatory that the information provided is suitably accurate and up-to-date.
Please send your response to arrive no later than 17:00 on 18th August 2016 to:
Via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (marked "Broadband East Riding Public Consultation Response").
Or by post to:
Broadband Eastriding Programme Public Consultation Response County Hall Cross Street Beverley HU17 9BA
Please note that any information you provide in your response will be treated as commercially confidential to your organisation. However, it may be necessary to share some or all of your response with our professional advisors and/or DCMS/BDUK, Ofcom, the National Competence Centre, and the European Commission, in the course of seeking State Aid approval. The East Riding of Yorkshire Council name is also subject to certain legal obligations to disclose information in certain other limited circumstances.
It should also be noted that it is a State Aid requirement to utilise the information provided in response to this consultation to refine our State Aid maps to define White/Grey/Black areas for NGA and Basic Broadband. However, the published maps will show the aggregated White/Grey/Black NGA and Basic Broadband areas, not the data provided on a per-operator basis.
If you have any questions about this State Aid public consultation process, please contact the Broadband East Riding Team by email at: email@example.com
If you are a telecommunications provider, this section specifies the information you are requested to provide in response to this State Aid public consultation.
The Broadband East Riding is requesting information on, and supporting evidence for, any current broadband infrastructure or planned investment (within the next 3 years) in broadband infrastructure in the East Riding Area, where these may not already be included within the proposed NGA and Basic Broadband Intervention Area maps attached.
For the avoidance of doubt, if you are content with our proposed State Aid Intervention Areas, no further response is required.
For any current or planned coverage not included within the proposed State Aid Intervention Areas shown on the attached maps, the Broadband East Riding is requesting information on the premises covered (or planned to be covered) by your broadband infrastructure investment. The Broadband East Riding is asking for information on coverage of Basic Broadband and NGA Broadband coverage separately (to enable us to map the Basic Broadband and NGA White/Grey/Black maps required for State Aid purposes). By 'covered' (or 'passed') the Broadband East Riding means that fixed network infrastructure is or will be available to the premises, potentially subject to a final drop connection, or that the premises are able to receive a suitable quality radio signal over the air interface (in the case of wireless or satellite coverage), potentially subject to the installation of a suitable antenna. Where an operator is responding with current or planned coverage for NGA, it must respond to confirm those premises that it is able to provide a broadband service with an access line speed (or equivalent) of at least 30Mbps.
Any information provided in response to this State Aid public consultation should include, but need not be limited to: