Local Broadband Fund
The Welsh Government recently announced plans for a Local Broadband Fund, £10m over 3 years. "Our original timescale was to commence the initial tranche of the scheme in April 2020 with future tranches every six months from October 2020. The initial phase was impacted by Covid -19 with public sector resources being temporarily moved to roles to assist local businesses and the ability to develop plans with suppliers also impacted.
Recent discussions with stakeholders indicate that most are in a better position to develop and submit bids for the fund so we are planning to launch the initial tranche week commencing the 13th July 2020 for an 8 week period.
The deadline for applications to be submitted will be week commencing 7th September 2020.
The scheme will then revert back to the original timescale with tranche 2 being launched in October 2020.
To recap, the scheme is aimed at both Local Authorities and social enterprises. It will provide a mechanism to bid for funding to deliver interventions that provide or support the provision of fast reliable broadband to premises that remain unserved. The £10 million is planned to span an initial three year period. Further information on the scheme was provided at information events that were well attended by local authority officials, social enterprises and broadband suppliers.
All technologies and innovative approaches are welcomed and the only speed criteria would be that solutions would need to provide at least 30Mbps.
We have recently published the results of an Open Market Review which, taking account of our plans to extend the fibre roll out with Openreach, indicates that there is around 79,000 properties that are not in any plan to receive faster broadband.