Connecting Shropshire

Phase 2b procurement

Connecting Shropshire has committed to extend the availability of Next Generation Access* (NGA) broadband to premises in the Shropshire Council area where there are no commercial plans to provide it. Shropshire Council has already invested significant public funds through two separate contracts (Phases 1 and 2a), to extend the availability of NGA infrastructure. Phase 2b aims to extend NGA coverage further by delivering to the remaining unserved ‘white’ premises using additional public funding of around £11.7m, equivalent to public subsidy of £700 per premise.

The unserved ‘white’ premises have been identified through an Open Market Review and State Aid Public Consultation that concluded on 5th September 2016. To see the outcome of the public consultation, go to: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/public-consultation-outcome/.

The total number of ‘white’ premises included in the procurement is 16,015. These are split into two bidding lots as follows:

  •  Lot 1 – Shropshire East = 13,259 premises (£9,253,392 public funding allocated)
  •  Lot 2 – Shropshire West = 2,756 premises (£1,923,399 public funding allocated)

east-and-west-lots

The Phase 2b procurement requires an ‘open’ network solution providing wholesale broadband services that retail service providers can then use to provide customers with NGA broadband.

The successful bidder(s) will be expected to provide investment in the network, and to own and manage the risks associated with developing and operating a wholesale broadband network.

The contracts are expected to be awarded in March 2017 (indicative date only).
An additional sum of £500,000 of potential funding has specifically been ring-fenced by Shropshire Council to:

  • provide match-funding for community solutions, where there is no projected coverage planned in the winning bids
  • bring into scope premises that are currently ‘under review’.  Where commercial plans fall away, these premises will be reclassified as NGA white and Connecting Shropshire will include them in the Intervention Area and consider them eligible for State Aid funding.

The procurement excludes additional funding that Shropshire Council is expecting to receive as part of its Phase 1 contract. Where customers choose to take-up fibre broadband once it is available, the Council receives ‘clawback’ that is estimated at £2.2m to date. This money will remain ring-fenced for further broadband investment.

Click below to view PDFs of the tender documentation:

Potential bidders should go to the Council’s procurement page to request the tender documentation, see: http://shropshire.gov.uk/doing-business-with-shropshire-council/current-opportunities-for-tendering/view-and-apply-for-current-tenders/

* defined as capable of 30mbps