Agenda item

Broadband - Superfast Extension Programme.


The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief Executive seeking approval for the implementation and funding of a Superfast Extension Programme, the approach to procuring extended Broadband provision, and to request additional funding from local authority partners to extend the reach of the Programme. A copy of the report marked ‘9’ is filed with these minutes. Comments from the Liberal Democrat Group were circulated separately and a copy is also filed with these minutes. 


The Chief Executive said that since publication of the report the Government had announced the Local Growth Fund allocations for 2015/16, which included funding for the Leicester and Leicestershire Accelerated Broadband project. The request for funding to be underwritten had therefore been amended to £1.325m. It was also proposed to hold further discussions with parish councils and commercial providers to identify solutions to enable broadband provision to the remainder, the “final 6%”, in the County.


Mrs Posnett CC said that it was important to continue to allocate funding to improve broadband provision, and Mr. Pain CC applauded the continued priority given to the project and engagement with local communities to identify solutions.




(a)       That the development of a broadband Superfast Extension Programme for Leicestershire, including the allocation of £2m from earmarked reserves as a capital contribution towards the cost of the Programme, be approved;


(b)       That the securing of £675,000 funding for 2015/16 from the Local Growth Fund as part of the recently announced Growth Deal be noted, and that approval be given to underwrite a further £1.325m indicatively allocated in the Growth Deal for 2016/17 should that funding not be secured;


(c)       That further investment be requested from district councils as set out in paragraphs 28 to 33 of the report;


(d)       That a hybrid procurement approach be pursued involving a call-off from the national framework contract being initiated utilising a majority of the funding available, with the remaining investment held back to enable exploration of alternative and innovative solutions to extending Broadband to the “final 6%” in Leicestershire;


(e)       That approval be given to the County Council acting as the lead Local Body for the Superfast Extension Programme;


(f)        That it be noted that the Superfast Extension Programme will include Leicester, and that revised or new Collaboration Agreement with the City Council be entered into accordingly;


(g)       That the Chief Executive, following consultation with the Leader of the County Council and the County Solicitor, be authorised to take all actions and/or decisions he considers necessary to give effect to any matter relating to the Superfast Extension Programme;


(h)       That officers continue to facilitate discussions with parish councils and commercial providers to identify solutions which will enable superfast broadband provision to the ‘final 6%’ in Leicestershire;


(i)        That officers prepare an improved deployment map and other communications materials regarding planned fibre broadband provision across the County.






a)     To further extend Superfast Broadband provision in rural Leicestershire in line with County Council priorities;


b)     To safeguard delivery of the whole programme by enabling procurement to be initiated at a sufficiently early stage;


c)     To maximise the potential roll out of Superfast Broadband to rural communities and businesses, and to achieve fair and equitable contributions from key partners;


d)     To enable the most effective procurement of Broadband provision taking account of delivery challenges and timescale constraints;


e)     and f) To enable efficient and effective liaison between local partners and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), continuing the current arrangement in place for the Superfast Leicestershire programme;


g)    To facilitate the timely and effective procurement and delivery of the Programme.    


h)   and i) To engage with local communities to help identify means for providing superfast broadband in the remaining areas of the County.

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