State Aid Public Consultation to Define the Intervention Area
The Intervention Area map identifies areas in the county where public funds can be invested to extend the superfast broadband network according to European Union State aid regulations. This is restricted to areas of market failure i.e. where private sector telecoms providers do not already provide services commercially or have plans to do so in the foreseeable future. This period is deemed to be the forthcoming three years at the time that a consultation is undertaken with suppliers in the telecoms market to determine their plans. This market consultation process is known as an Open Market Review (OMR)and assesses both Next Generation Access (NGA) and Basic Broadband commercial plans.
Following completion of the OMR, a State Aid Public Consultation document is issued and open for at least one month. This sets out the analysis undertaken with the OMR data and any assumptions made in order to derive the Intervention Area maps. It also provides the telecoms market and other stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the proposed Intervention Area (i.e. the eligible area for public investment in the broadband market), ensuring this correctly captures the areas containing commercial plans. Once this process is concluded, the outcome of this consultation will be reported to the Government's National Competence Centre for the UK broadband State aid scheme for clearance.
The Intervention Area maps show the areas with existing or planned coverage as either Black or Grey. Any gaps in Next Generation Access (NGA) and Basic Broadband are shown in White. In addition, some areas have been labelled as 'Conditional' White (shown in Green or Blue) on the superfast map to indicate where a superfast solution may be 'at risk' for one of a number of reasons (see Consultation document below for further details). These 'Conditional' White areas will be monitored by Superfast Berkshire and will be eligible for public sector intervention should the planned solution not be delivered.
Superfast Berkshire first undertook an OMR and State Aid Public Consultation in 2013 to identify the Intervention Area for phase 1 of the project, identifying over 48,000 premises in the NGA Intervention Area at the time. These were the premises that, without public sector intervention, would not benefit from access to superfast broadband and became the target for Superfast Berkshire under the contract signed with BT in September 2013. Following extensions to the contract in 2014, this delivered fibre-based broadband to 24,516 premises by September 2015, of which 21,200 will have access to superfast broadband (speeds above 24Mbps).
Superfast Berkshire completed a second OMR and State Aid Public Consultation between July and October 2014. The number of premises in the new Intervention Area has fallen to just under 30,000. This captures changes since 2013, taking account of coverage being delivered under phase 1 in partnership with BT, changes to commercial coverage plans since 2013, and new premises which have been built since 2013 but which do not have access to superfast broadband. The consultation documents are available to view below along with the new Intervention Area map for phase 2 of the Superfast Berkshire project.
Superfast Berkshire has also made available a list of(as at February 2015) with their proposed state aid classification as defined in the Intervention area maps.
Please note that the Intervention Area map is not the same as the Deployment Map. The former sets out where the public sector is able to intervene whilst the latter sets out the expected roll out plans and includes commercial coverage and coverage enabled through public subsidy. This is updated on a regular basis to show the latest roll out plans.