Stage 2 – Project Technology & Supplier Evaluation

Defining your objectives

RBP’s primary objective is to provide communities with guidance to enabling a high-speed broadband service in areas experiencing broadband deprivation.  For this reason, we recommend communities consider whether they wish to engage in a least-cost-fastest-to-deploy solution, or a more substantial longer-term, higher-cost self provisioned and self managed project.

You will also need to decide how much participation your community will want to take in the building and then management of the network once in place.

UPDATE Dec 2011: The RBCF (Rural Broadband Community Fund) has now been launched and defines 5 different models for superfast broadband projects that will be eligible for the funding for the final 10%. These are defined under Business Models in the Community Broadband Toolkit:

The five models are:

Facilitating investment by companies installing broadband networks under contract to the Local Authority:

1. Demand Registration Your community formally pledges to sign contracts which may help to lower the risk for your Local Authority’s broadband network providers and may help extend the superfast broadband footprint.

2. Build & benefit Your community formally offer to help deliver your superfast solution by, for example, digging trenches, arranging way-leaves or paying higher installation charges to lower the costs for the Local Authority’s broadband network providers

Community Enterprise:

3. Partnership Your community raise some of the finance but need a partner to bring the rest of the investment and to design, build and operate the network on your behalf

4. Concession Your community are prepared to raise all of the finance but offer a concession to a company to design, build and operate the network on your behalf

5. DIY Your community is prepared to raise the finance as well as design, build and operate the network

The first two models rely on the companies providing broadband networks under contract to the Local Authority  to deliver the solution, working very closely with your community, while the second group rely on a Community Enterprise to deliver the broadband networks.

Many communities will favour a project that meets or exceeds the needs of residence and businesses for at least five years; however, others may feel the need to choose the simplest and easiest deployment model.

Most experts will agree that fibre delivery to each and every home and business is the ideal scenario, such projects will require more upfront funding for longer term gains than wireless, satellite or mobile broadband solutions, which may be seen by many as interim solutions.

Alternate Broadband Delivery Type Options

An excellent review of alternate broadband delivery types is located at Broadband Types web site at ISP Review located at: http://www.ispreview.co.uk/articles/10_UK_Rural_Broadband_Solutions/