Decision details

Gigabit Hub Connectivity in Rural Dorset

Decision Maker: Officer Delegated Decision

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Reason for the Decision

Dorset Council can access funding for digital infrastructure improvements from the Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) project. However, the opportunity was set against a short time scale to develop and submit a Full Business Case (FBC) to BDUK by 12 March 2021. BDUK reviewed and subsequently approved the FBC on 24 March 2021 with the condition that the procurement notice is issued before the 31 March 2021.

The delegation decision and commencement of procurement cannot wait until the next available meeting of Cabinet and therefore the decision to go to procurement is taken in accordance in the scheme of delegation.

This is an excellent opportunity for Dorset to obtaining funding to provide gigabit capable infrastructure to help address poor connectivity due to the rural nature of Dorset. 


Alternative options considered and rejected


Not to continue the procurement within the required timeline.
This was rejected as it would result in the funding offer being withdrawn.


Conflict of interest declared by any member consulted


There were no conflict of interests


Any dispensation granted in respect of any declared conflict of interest




To procure 114 sites (45 Dorset Council and 69 school sites) associated with the Gigabit Hub Connectivity in Rural Dorset (GHCiRD) project. This project received approval to proceed to the procurement stage from the Building Digital UK (BDUK), which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS). The tender will be published on 31 March 2021 using Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).


The infrastructure budget implications being £2,716,164 to be met by the BDUK grant. The ongoing revenue costs will be met by Dorset Council for the 45 Council sites and is expected to be cost neutral as IT Services will look to take advantage of the infrastructure to adopt an new approach which will be more cost effective than the current connectivity charges. Each school will meet the revenue costs for their site. 



Urgent item?: Yes

Publication date: 31/03/2021

Date of decision: 31/03/2021