A UK broadband infrastructure initiative that aims to utilise public funding to deliver nationwide gigabit capable broadband
Project Gigabit is a UK broadband infrastructure initiative that aims to utilise public funding to deliver nationwide gigabit capable broadband as soon as possible.
The UK Government’s ambition is to deliver nationwide gigabit capable broadband as soon as possible. The UK Government has committed £5 billion for the hardest to reach parts of the country, ensuring that all areas of the UK can benefit. This will be spent through a package of coordinated and mutually supportive interventions, collectively known as Project Gigabit. DfE recognises that there is a need for government intervention in the parts of Northern Ireland that are not commercially viable.
As part of this DfE, along with Building Digital UK (BDUK), is developing a procurement approach to incentivise the telecoms market to invest in delivering gigabit capable wholesale infrastructure in areas not considered to be commercially viable for new infrastructure. This procurement approach will be a successor to the much-needed Superfast broadband programme and DfE’s broadband intervention scheme, Project Stratum. The UK Government is allocating all capital funding required for delivery of Project Gigabit NI.
DfE carried out an Open Market Review (OMR) – Request for Information (RFI) which closed on 27 January 2023 to establish existing and planned coverage of broadband services within Northern Ireland over the next three years (and beyond, if available).
The Department has assessed the responses to the OMR and conducted a Public Review to validate the results of the OMR, including seeking validation of the eligibility of the premises for subsidy. The Public Review took place during June 2023., Once concluded information gathered will confirm the eligibility of the premises for procurement(s).
As a result of current publicly subsidised broadband interventions, along with commercial investment in broadband connectivity, Northern Ireland is on course to become fully gigabit-capable within the next 3-4 years.
Project Gigabit NI is led by an SIB-appointed Project Director; SIB is also providing Legal Counsel for the project.
For further information contact:
Nigel Robbins, Project Director