118,700 homes and businesses across Norfolk will get next generation gigabit broadband as part of the government's £5 billion Project Gigabit to rollout out speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second
- Under roll out plans published today a regional supplier procurement for Norfolk will connect 118,700 premises.
- The contract is expected to be valued from £115m - £195m with procurement to start in February 2022 and contract awarded in January 2023
- These plans are in addition to commercially funded full fibre rollout
- 60 per cent of all households across the UK are forecast to have access gigabit broadband by the end of the year and the government is on track to hit its target of achieving at least 85 per cent gigabit-capable UK coverage by 2025.
The government’s Project Gigabit fund to upgrade digital infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas will accelerate the recovery from Covid, support high-growth sectors, and increase speed and reliability for families and businesses.
Norfolk was selected for the early phase of Project Gigabit which will ensure rural areas are not left behind as gigabit broadband is rolled out to at least 85 per cent of the UK by 2025, with 60 per cent on course to be connected this year.
Under proposals published today a regional supplier procurement will start in February 2022 with the contract due to be awarded in January 2023 to connect 118,700 premises. The contract is expected to be valued from £115m - £195m. Under the plans for procurements, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will engage with the market and other interested parties through individual engagement and a formal Public Review process. Through this process, it will then plan the specific premises where intervention is most likely to be required.
Commenting on the announcement, James said:
- “Better access to the fastest broadband speeds is crucial for accessing services, staying in touch, and supporting jobs and growth in rural areas. It is very welcome that nearly 120,000 premises will be connected in the early phase of Project Gigabit and I will continue to work so that North West Norfolk benefits from this significant investment. This is in addition to the commercial rollout planned to thousands of other homes and businesses.”
The Project Gigabit programme is in addition to plans by broadband firms for commercial rollout and is focused on areas where rollout is not considered economic by companies. For example, BT Openreach has announced that 25,000 premises in North West Norfolk will be connected to full fibre broadband under its latest infrastructure investment plans and other companies including Lightspeed have announced plans to rollout their networks here.
As commercial rollout is accelerating due to government measures such as the "super-deduction" investment incentives, there may be changes to premises numbers that could be connected and the start date.