Broadband News

Three lots to bid for in the Scottish R100 superfast broadband project

The Scottish R100 project is being fleshed out piece by piece and just like all the other broadband projects since the BDUK process started there is the procurement cycle to go through and shortlisting of bids to ensure that those picking the winner can weigh up the pros and cons for all the different entrants to this end the R100 - Procurement of NGA Infrastructure document has been published.

The £600 million contact is set to be split into three different lots, and operators can bid on any number of them with the key point being a three build cycle that will end 31st December 2021 with the aim to deliver superfast broadband to as many premises in each of the lots. The contracts have a further 7 year service period, hence the ten year long contracts.

  • Lot 1 - The North, comprising Highlands and Islands, Angus, Aberdeen and Dundee. Estimated size of the intervention area is 99,288 premises with funding of £384 million allocated. An important distinction is that this contract will require the winner to deliver Gigabit connectivity to a number of named locations or areas, there is no indication of how many of the 99,288 this will comprise but we'd not expect a high figure, but would be nice to be surprised.
  • Lot 2 - Central Area, comprising central Scotland and Fife. There are some 53,570 white premises with £83 million of funding
  • Lot 3 - South Area, comprising Scottish Borders and Galloway and is 26,090 premises expected to need intervention with £133 million allocated.

The funding split indicates a willingness to spend an average of £3,867 per premise in the northern lot, £1,549 in the most urban lot which is the central area and £5,097 per premise in the southern lot. This is considerably more than people have seen for other BDUK contracts and represents a reality that has been talked about many times that as you increase the distances covered and population density decreases the cost of providing broadband increases and while no technology steering is provided other than faster than 30 Mbps (and some Gigabit in one lot) there does appear to scope for a lot more full fibre than the current phase given the budget size.

Of course any bid that was to try for full fibre to all of say the southern area will need to do its homework, since 8,000 premises with a cost £14,000 each to reach would use up £112m of the funding leaving a lower budget of £1,305 per premise for the remaining 16,090 and is the perfect illustration of why all the BDUK projects kept the value for money versus number of premises under tight control, since it is very easy to run out of money and fall well short of the eventual goal.

As with some other R100 pronouncements there is nothing to guarantee 100% coverage at superfast speeds, only once the final bids have been signed into a contract and coverage details emerge will we get a better idea plus some idea of what level of contribution the commercial partner will be bringing to the table.

Comments

@thinkbroadband Have the results of the open market review launched in been published yet? Have we any way of findi… https://t.co/4GLVXjVzyv

  • @caorach
  • comment via twitter
  • 9 months ago

Worth adding in the map for the Lots to show where the splits are:

https://imgur.com/vw9r4pH

  • hippyharry
  • 9 months ago

The document states:

As noted in paragraph 4.3 there are approximately 245,000 white Premises remaining in Scotland. While these are eligible for state aid intervention, SG has decided to focus the intervention under this Project on the groups of 'white' Premises which are the least served. The following 'white' Premises will be excluded from the scope of the Project:
● All white Premises situated in large urban areas (such as Edinburgh and Glasgow)(‘Urban 1’); and
● All white Premises currently receiving speeds of between 24 Mbps and 30 Mbps.

So there are properties excluded? Urban areas?

  • hippyharry
  • 9 months ago

I'd missed the Urban 1 clause (blames cold) that will upset those who at the end of the existing BT contract don't have an improvement, though looking at where there are hints of FTTP and cabinets the number should shrink a lot and has been doing so over the last few months.

If the Urban 1 is the definition I believe I should be able to flag these on https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/postcode-search

If the lots follow the authority boundaries too, then creating tracking for them will be fairly straightforward.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 9 months ago

Andrew,

if it helps, look for the excel sheet listed on this site - http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/07/4529/downloads

This was the postcode areas that were going to be captured under R100.

  • hippyharry
  • 9 months ago

@hippyharry
Tried your link and got the following -
"The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable."

  • Jaggies
  • 9 months ago

@Jaggies - Working here.

  • camieabz
  • 9 months ago

Thanks for the list, while useful over time it will be less useful, so doing a combined grouping based on local authorities is easier, i.e. when taking in new postcodes each quarter new premises would get added.

While new build > 30 premises is offered FTTP, there are those smaller and if in areas that are otherwise R100 would need adding, i.e. boundary method works better as I've found with tracking BDUK stuff.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 9 months ago

Great (not!!) to see the huge area of Perthshire completely omitted from all three lots.....

  • jimwillsher
  • 9 months ago

and my postcode (PH10 6RG) isn't on R100 either....

  • jimwillsher
  • 9 months ago

Interesting that most of the AB21 postcodes in Dyce, Aberdeen (where i work) listed already have FTTC.. although most no where near 80 Mbps speeds (several streets on EO Cabinets). It is also interesting that the CityFibre network basically drives right through the centre of this area, making it quite easy and relatively short distances for many of the AB21 7xx postcodes listed. I do wonder if they had prior warning of this..? If that isn't one of the residential 1 Gb roll out areas and they don't make a bid for it.. I will eat my hat!

  • brusuth
  • 9 months ago

@jimwillsher - checking your postcode, it looks like your line is already part of Openreach plans to bring you superfast services, also notice that your not to far from exchange.

  • mlmclaren
  • 9 months ago

@mlmclaren Thank you, thanks for checking. Yes, I've done some more poking around myself, and it seems that all 17 properties on our road are included in the current plans, which means they are (currently) excluded from R100. Hopefully it'll happen, although I have my doubts - EO lines fed by a cable that runs along the grass verge, no ducts, no poles, so I'm not sure fibre will be physically viable without a lot of digging :-)

  • jimwillsher
  • 9 months ago

Scottish Government are now making arrangements to issue out their current UPRN list for all properties that they believe will fall under R100.

I assume its the full address list of properties that are missing. Document available to contractors through Public Contract Scotland.

  • hippyharry
  • 9 months ago

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