Issue - meetings

Superfast Broadband - To invest funds, made up from grant from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and contract outturns

Meeting: 03/09/2019 - Dorset Council - Cabinet (Item 48)

48 Superfast Broadband - To invest funds, made up from grant from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and contract outturns pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider a report of the Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Skills.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

 

(i)         That authority be delegated to the lead member for Economic Growth & Skills in consultation with the lead member of Corporate Development & Change and the Executive Directors for Place and Corporate Development to approve Change Control(s) under the Superfast Dorset Phase 3 Ultrafast contract to incorporate funding derived from the DEFRA Rural Broadband Infrastructure grant award, released from in life contractual changes and from current programme underspends into the existing contract, to the contracted maximum public funding contribution of £8.9m

 

(ii)        Note that the Change Control process requires that the proposal(s) from BT (Openreach) described above would be subject to central government assurance (Building Digital UK and Rural Payments Agency for DEFRA) and Dorset Council’s own assurance (to include Superfast Dorset, Finance and Legal consultation) prior to seeking to enter into contract.

 

(iii)       Notes that the values presented within the report to Cabinet on 3 September 2019 were subject to finalisation within the contractual limits specified under recommendation (i) above.

 

 

Reason for the Decision

 

To further the Council’s corporate plan focus on Enabling Economic Growth through maximising the level of external funding drawn into Dorset to extend the provision of superfast broadband services to rural areas.

 

Central government commissioned research suggests that a £1 investment in NGA broadband returns a £20 increase in GVA for the local economy.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report on the universal provision of superfast broadband which was critical to the future economic and social prosperity of the county of Dorset. Members were advised that the Superfast Dorset (SFD) programme aimed to deliver the most appropriate superfast broadband solution for communities.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Change presented a short PowerPoint presentation highlighting key facts and figures relating to the proposal.  This included that additional coverage for a further 2066 premises predominately in rural areas. This improvement would be welcomed by rural business that currently found it difficult to expand and grow because of poor network connection.

 

It was acknowledged that Openreach had been late in their delivery of previous programmes, but there was little interest in alternative providers bidding on contract of this nature. The council also had a proven working relationship with Openreach and would be able to hold robust conversations with the provider.

 

Responding to questions the Programme Manager advised that additional funding for the project was being provided by external resources including grant award from DEFRA (RPA) and existing capital underspends in the programme.

 

The Cabinet agreed that it was essential that Dorset Council continue to lobby for fast delivery of broadband across these additional areas to support economic growth in rural Dorset.

 

Decision

 

Decision

 

(i)         That authority be delegated to the lead member for Economic Growth & Skills in consultation with the lead member of Corporate Development & Change and the Executive Directors for Place and Corporate Development to approve Change Control(s) under the Superfast Dorset Phase 3 Ultrafast contract to incorporate funding derived from the DEFRA Rural Broadband Infrastructure grant award, released from in life contractual changes and from current programme underspends into the existing contract, to the contracted maximum public funding contribution of £8.9m

 

(ii)        Note that the Change Control process requires that the proposal(s) from BT (Openreach) described above would be subject to central government assurance (Building Digital UK and Rural Payments Agency for DEFRA) and Dorset Council’s own assurance (to include Superfast Dorset, Finance and Legal consultation) prior to seeking to enter into contract.

 

(iii)       Notes that the values presented within the report to Cabinet on 3 September 2019 were subject to finalisation within the contractual limits specified under recommendation (i) above.

 

 

Reason for the Decision

 

To further the Council’s corporate plan focus on Enabling Economic Growth through maximising the level of external funding drawn into Dorset to extend the provision of superfast broadband services to rural areas.

 

Central government commissioned research suggests that a £1 investment in NGA broadband returns a £20 increase in GVA for the local economy.