Planning the rollout

Find out how Superfast Essex maximises the use of public funding using a five-step process.

1. Open Market Review (OMR)

  • Essex County Council (ECC) requests all known broadband network operators provide postcode lists of their existing coverage area. This includes the number of premises in each post code which are currently capable of receiving superfast broadband. Also where the operator plans to make superfast broadband available within the next three years
  • Operators need to evidence that their network meets the EU guidelines for Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband
  • Any areas where there is no existing NGA coverage, or any planned within three years will be eligible for public subsidy

2. The Speed Coverage Template and flagging priority areas

  • Using the data, ECC creates a list to show where Superfast Essex can intervene. This list is known as the Speed and Coverage Template (SCT)
  • Priority postcodes are identified using results from the Make the Connection survey. Superfast Essex also identifies any postcodes that should be prioritised for economic development reasons (with help from Councils and Boroughs across Essex)
  • The SCT is then passed to the supplier as part of the procurement process. An indication of how much public funding is available is also provided.

3. Supplier Modelling

Using the SCT, the supplier creates a model of the new network considering the below points:

  • The location of the nearest connection point to the wider internet (backhaul connectivity)
  • The length of fibre spine required to extend out or to build the network to reach a particular area
  • The proximity of power connections to the proposed location of new fibre cabinet
  • The amount of civil engineering work required to build fibre and power cabling runs or ducts
  • The potential to re-arrange the existing telephone network to achieve better speeds on fibre
  • The number of properties that can be reached from each fibre cabinet
  • What superfast broadband technology is best suited to serve the specified premises (FTTC or FTTP)

The finished model is then reviewed against the available funding and specified priority areas. The proposed network deployment plan is then sent to ECC, as part of the supplier response under the procurement plan.

4. Review of Proposed Deployment Plan

  • Superfast Essex checks the proposed deployment plan against the specified requirements. This includes checking that the model is value for money
  • Where appropriate, the team will challenge any anomalies and amendments are made before the contract is agreed and signed.
  • The rollout plan and supporting funding model are also reviewed by the Superfast Essex finance team as well as by BDUK
  • Any inconsistencies or areas of concern are clarified with the supplier before the contract is signed

5. Operational Plan, Contract Monitoring, Adjustment and Audit

  • Once a delivery contract is signed with the supplier, the rollout plan is set with a timetable for delivery
  • Both parties recognise that in order to deliver the network in the most cost-effective manner, any deviations from the original network deployment plan need to be kept to a minimum
  • Any significant changes are only agreed where they are required due to practical or engineering reasons
  • Throughout the contract duration both ECC and BDUK monitor the supplier’s delivery against the contract. The project finances are also monitored and regularly reviewed