Lot 5 is centred around Cambridgeshire and includes Peterborough and parts of North Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Hertfordshire.
The Lot 5 procurement was launched in January 2022. The contract award was finally made in March 2023, with CityFibre announced as the winning bidder.
The Government’s Project Gigabit £69 million subsidy along with a commercial investment of £53 million by CityFibre will bring full fibre gigabit capable broadband to around 45,000 homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and neighbouring areas including parts of North Northamptonshire.
CityFibre are the UK’s largest open access, fibre only operator, with services live in cities, towns, and villages across the country. They aim to serve 8 million homes across the UK by 2025. They already have a strong presence in Northamptonshire including serving most of Northampton and they are currently building their full fibre networks in Kettering and Wellingborough.
As part of its private investment, CityFibre has committed an additional £300,000 local stimulus package to create local jobs and provide training - including construction and engineering internships for disadvantaged groups such as armed forces leavers, people with disabilities and those affected by Covid.
How many rural premises in North Northamptonshire are set to benefit has yet to be confirmed. Further information will be provided once available.
The first live premises delivered and able to order a full fibre broadband service should be completed in early 2024. Ultimately the Lot 5 Project Gigabit build by CityFibre will take around 5 years to roll out.
You can view the government’s press release below:
You can find out more on the CityFibre Project Gigabit webpage below:
What does the Procurement Involve?
The procurement set out to find the best offer from a telecoms provider to work with the government agency Building Digital UK (BDUK) and local authority partners to bring gigabit capable broadband networks to serve those premises in need. Around 49,700 premises were deemed eligible and in scope of Lot 5 when the procurement was launched. These are the target premises with potential to benefit from intervention through public subsidy provided towards the cost of network build. These areas are where, at the time of the procurement launch, there were no viable commercial planned upgrades in the next few years. The public subsidy offered in support of the procurement was £68.6 million.
Lot 5 is a significant area including Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and parts of North Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Hertfordshire. When the contract was awarded to CityFibre in March 2023, it was expected that 45,000 premises were set to benefit across this area.
A Public Review to inform the Lot 5 intervention area was launched in May 2021 and closed in June 2021. This followed a consultation with telecoms providers. The geography of the area potentially in scope of Lot 5 within North Northamptonshire is shown in the map below – the White areas. Those areas shown in Grey and Black are where there is existing or planned gigabit capable network coverage by one (Grey) or more (Black) telecoms providers. Those areas in Blue are Under Review and are areas of deferred scope – this is where the delivery of commercial plans is more uncertain.
View the Cambridgeshire Lot 5 Public Review Closure Notice which confirmed the intervention area, including illustrative maps of the outcome for further information.