Greater London Authority seeks partner for ultrafast broadband rollout

By Sooraj Shah
28 Feb 2013 View Comments
London skyline

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has issued prior notice of its plan to select a supplier or suppliers to help with its Super Connected Cities Plan (SCCP) initiative.

The government's broadband delivery team, BDUK, awarded GLA an allocation from the Urban Broadband Fund (UBF) worth between £10m and £25m to support private-sector investment in ultrafast broadband infrastructure in parts of London that lack next-generation access (NGA) infrastructure. The GLA said ultrafast means download speeds of between 80Mbit/s and 100Mbit/s.

Further reading

The prior information notice on the Official Journal of the European Union website informs potential suppliers that they should expect a procurement to be commenced within the next 12 months.

The UBF aims to assist the UK's largest cities to deliver ultrafast fixed broadband infrastructure in order to drive economic growth, attract new business investment and change the way public services are provided and accessed.

Transport for London (TfL)'s procurement team is looking after the administrative duties of the project as part of its GLA family and shared services remit, a TfL spokesman told Computing.

"TfL is undertaking an open market testing exercise, referred to as an open market review (OMR), on behalf of the GLA, in order to inform interested suppliers of the SCCP programme and to collect data to establish a more precise identification of the coverage and planned coverage in London for the next three years," the prior information notice reads.

"It is expected that service providers will provide their NGA network coverage plans to a street and building level. During the open market review a questionnaire will be released to the market to obtain the required OMR data," it adds.

The GLA told Computing that it could not comment further on the procurement itself while it is ongoing.

On the GLA's website, it claims that the project is a "highly ambitious and highly risky project that requires expert input".

It adds that the expertise must be procured to deliver on an extremely tight timeframe which has been set by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

"The investment programme must be delivered by March 2015 - it is therefore critical we get the initial strategy right for London," the GLA said.

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