Since 2020 FarrPoint has been working with the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) on Project Gigabit, the UK Government’s £5 billion programme to deliver digital connectivity to hard-to-reach communities. It targets homes and businesses that are not included in broadband suppliers’ commercial plans, reaching parts of the UK that might otherwise miss out on getting the digital connectivity they need.
FarrPoint Case Study Author: Neil Watt
The Client: DCMS
Having the fastest broadband means households no longer have to battle over bandwidth, people enjoy the freedom to live and work more flexibly, businesses increase their productivity, and vital public services thrive.
Having the fastest connections also means the UK is fit-for-the-future, with broadband infrastructure designed to deliver for people’s needs for decades to come.
FarrPoint’s highly specialist consultancy team is assisting (this will open in a new window)Building Digital UK (BDUK), an executive agency sponsored by (this will open in a new window)DCMS, to deliver this project with technical advice and support.
FarrPoint is assisting BDUK with the project lifecycle. The first part of the project is to develop an understanding of the UK infrastructure suppliers’ current and future network rollout plans. This is done via the open market review (OMR) and public review (PR) stages of the programme. FarrPoint is evaluating the network supplier responses to the various OMR/PR stages and the tender invitations for specific geographic locations in the UK.
During the OMR stages, infrastructure suppliers are given the opportunity to provide evidence of their existing and planned commercial deployment over the next three years to ensure that public subsidy avoids overbuilding any suppliers’ commercial plans. At the PR stage, in addition to further feedback from suppliers, the public and other interested parties have an opportunity to contribute their views to the review. In association with BDUK, the OMR/ PR supplier responses are evaluated by FarrPoint technical and data specialists. At the close of the PR stage, the gathered information is used to create Intervention Areas to be targeted with public subsidy. The resulting invitations to tender for these areas are then issued with interested parties invited to bid for public subsidy to build a gigabit-capable network.
In parallel to the OMR/PR activities, FarrPoint assisted with the creation of the tender documents and the evaluation methodology for the procurements resulting from the OMR/PR process. FarrPoint provides the technical and deliverability evaluations of the tender responses leading to contract award for the live gigabit procurements.
This support is crucial in providing targeted public sector funding to accelerate the delivery of this most essential level of infrastructure across the UK.
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