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Telecommunications: Infrastructure

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 712, tabled on 12 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support he is making available to altnets in fibreoptic broadband rollout with significant existing plans to build in areas that have been deemed as Area 3 in Ofcom’s Statement entitled Promoting investment and competition in fibre networks: Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review 2021-26.

Answered on

21 May 2021

Building Digital UK is determined to take a pro-competition approach, with all suppliers able to play their part. Over the last 18 months BDUK has engaged with over 80 suppliers through market engagement events and workshops.

Thorough local market reviews will shape the type, size and boundaries of each contract to maximise competition and ensure public money is targeted at places that would otherwise be left behind.

Building Digital UK will survey the market and their plans in hard to reach areas before starting procurements to ensure interventions do not encroach on altnet suppliers’ build areas or allowing them time to pursue commercial investment plans.

Our mixed procurement approach includes competitions specifically targeted at

specialist (altnet) network providers, typically with a geographic focus. We will assess whether local or regional focused contracts are likely to achieve greater overall pace and offer better value on a case-by-case basis. We will be seeking to identify and develop such procurement opportunities and will continue to engage with the market and local authorities.