Project Gigabit Autumn update 2021

Project Gigabit Autumn update 2021

As we head towards the end of 2021, we are well on our way to achieving the target set by the government of achieving 85% gigabit broadband coverage across the UK by 2025. The current coverage nationally is 64.06% and 61.08% here in South Yorkshire- this is more than 17.5 million businesses and homes that can now access the fastest broadband speeds available.

The update also came with a revised roll out plan for Project Gigabit plans in South Yorkshire with the total number of premises reduced from an initial 62,400 to 58,000. This programme will still focus on targeting the hardest to reach areas and will cost between £61-£103 million.

The Open Market Review for Phase 2A lots has now been completed and the information shared by regional suppliers indicated they are planning to cover more premises than initially expected, specifically more rural properties. This has led to the number of premises eligible for public subsidy to be reduced. However, the costs of connecting those rural properties through the project have increased as the suppliers will still need to build far reaching fibre networks to connect rural premises. Therefore, although the number of premises included has reduced the overall costs have not changed. An Open Market Review for Phase 2B including South Yorkshire (Lot 20) will take place in early 2022.

The Project Gigabit programme targets properties that would otherwise have been left behind in broadband companies' rollout plans, prioritising those that currently have the slowest connections their available speeds will rocket to more than 1,000 megabits or one gigabit per second - enough to download a HD movie in less than 30 seconds and lay the foundations for tomorrow's tech such as 8K-quality video streaming. The average download speeds for South Yorkshire currently stands at 59.4Mbps, gigabit broadband will be over 16x faster than this.

We are now able to share the estimated time scales of the works for South Yorkshire. However, as the roll out of the project develops, the processes are being refined and therefore timescales are subject to changes. 

Timescales and procurement data table
Procurement Start date

contract commencement

Modelled number of uncommercial premises in the procurement area 2

Indicative contract value

November 2022 - January 2023 October - December 2023 56,800 £61m-£103m

*dates and figures displayed in the table are subject to change

Between October and November of this year saw the first areas in the phase 1 begin the procurement process which was Cumbria (Lot 28) for 62,000 premises. They will now move on to the building stage. As works in phase 1 areas progress the processes will be refined, and learning applied to future phases.

You can access the full Project Gigabit Autumn update here.

All information is accurate as of 09/12/2021