Can our village contribute financially to the contract to be sure of being included in the next rollout?

It is not legally possible for a community to contribute to the contract, and in any case the problem remains that we can’t see any mechanism for ensuring that a particular village or parish would be economically covered if they were to contribute.

It is entirely possible for a community to decide to raise funds and employ their own solution. The problem with this approach is that smaller suppliers do not always have the resilience of the larger companies. If you were to go with your own solution and employed a smaller company then you could be facing sustainability issues further down the line. You should also be aware that once an area has superfast broadband then our project may consider it to have turned grey on the map and may no longer consider it for inclusion under our funding. On the other hand, if it is not considered to be a grey area we may later come along and upgrade the network, which could cut across the business case for any community-led solution.

One final consideration is that the infrastructure that we are providing is a wholesale network. This means that any Internet Service Provider can use the network to provide services to its customers. By offering a range of providers the idea is that there will be competition which will lead to a choice of packages and a range of price-points. You will not have that with a single-supplier network. You could, of course, choose to pay BT Openreach to upgrade the infrastructure in your area, but the costs are likely to be significant. Should you choose to follow this route then you may want to take a look at Community Fibre Partnerships website.

Posted in: Questions About the Contracts