Shropshire Council

Project Gigabit

The UK Gigabit Programme or ‘Project Gigabit’ is a £5 billion government infrastructure project to enable and deliver fast, reliable digital connectivity for the UK. The prime objective of the programme is to deliver gigabit broadband to those areas of the country that are commercially unviable for broadband infrastructure suppliers to build to without public funding.

Project Gigabit is a follow-up programme to the Superfast Broadband Programme but is subtly different. Previous broadband infrastructure procurements were undertaken by Shropshire Council. In Project Gigabit, Building Digital UK (BDUK) will be responsible for procurements, contracts and supplier management, not Shropshire Council.

Shropshire Council will remain integral to the process but will no longer manage the relationship with the broadband infrastructure suppliers. BDUK is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and will be responsible for the delivery of any contracts awarded.

Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council areas are included in Phase 1b of the Government’s Project Gigabit programme.

In April 2021 BDUK undertook an Open Market Review (OMR) of the current commercial marketplace for broadband in the two Councils’ areas. This process is necessary to ensure that public funding is only used in those areas where there is market failure.

Following the OMR, BDUK conducted a wider Public Review that closed in September 2021. The outcome of the Public Review was published in February 2022 and is available to view on the gov.uk website.

Procurement timeline

The current expectation is that the procurement process will be launched in summer 2022 with contracts awarded in early 2023.