In late 2020, the then County Council consulted on the proposed Intervention Area for the Superfast Northamptonshire project ahead of further measures involving the investment of public funds. The public consultation was particularly aimed at telecoms suppliers currently operating in the county or with future plans to roll out Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband networks in the county. The final supplier responses were received in February 2021.
State Aid Public Consultation
This public consultation sought views from interested telecoms providers and other stakeholders on the proposed Intervention Area ('White areas') for measures to extend NGA broadband networks (fibre based) being taken forward through the Superfast Northamptonshire project. These are the areas where we believe there are no commercial telecoms plans for superfast broadband supporting line speeds of at least 30Mbps (download) and where public funding is needed to bring forward network solutions.
The maps provided in the consultation were informed by the outcome of an Open Market Review (OMR) undertaken by the County Council in Summer 2019. An OMR enables telecoms providers to confirm their existing and planned commercial NGA coverage, looking ahead three years. A number of suppliers took the opportunity to update their OMR data for Northamptonshire in response to the latest State Aid Public Consultation. . NGA involves fibre optic based networks which are wired or fixed wireless access and are capable of higher throughput than traditional copper networks.
Responses to the State Aid Public Consultation
The County Council invited telecoms suppliers and other stakeholders to review the proposed Intervention Area maps and coverage data and advise on any changes required.
The 'White' areas on the NGA map comprise the proposed eligible Intervention Area for further measures to be progressed through the Superfast Northamptonshire project. All measures are compliant with the European Commission decision on a National Broadband Scheme for the UK (2016). This forms part of the regulatory framework governing how public funding can be invested in broadband networks. The consultation document and outcome report, including intervention area maps, can be viewed below.