We're looking to establish which areas of Hertfordshire still need access to superfast broadband. Then we'll plan how to make that happen.
We've been working with BT, BDUK and Buckinghamshire County Council for the last 5 years to deliver better broadband to over 79,000 premises. Read more about the Connected Counties programme.
Currently, over 95% of Hertfordshire premises can get superfast broadband speeds of over 24 Mbps. Connected Counties, along with other commercial initiatives, will take the coverage to 98.5% by 2019.
We're now looking to extend fibre to further improve speeds across Hertfordshire and extend to the remaining premises. We're aiming for high speed broadband for everyone by 2020.
The next steps
Our plan is to assess the remaining unserved areas via an Open Market Review.
Working with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, we're seeking to establish Hertfordshire as a leading county for businesses supported by the best possible coverage of ultra-fast services.
Open Market Review
We expect to go out to procurement early in 2018 but, before that, we're starting an Open Market Review (“OMR”). That is to establish existing and planned (next 3 years) commercial coverage of broadband services across Hertfordshire by all existing (and any prospective) Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure providers.
We're contacting broadband suppliers who have already expressed an interest. This Open Market Review will end on 12 January 2018.
The UK applies a best practice process that promotes the use of both an Open Market Review and a public consultation, the latter being conducted in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Broadband Guidelines.
The results of the Open Market Review will:
- help us understand the NGA broadband infrastructure already in place
- indicate where there are plans for investment in such infrastructure over the coming 3 years
- input into the design of the "intervention area" – the remamining areas in Hertfordshire to be targeted by any new contract.
Once we've defined those intervention areas from the Open Market Review, we'll run a public consultation on our proposed intervention areas.
The consultation will run for at least 1 month.