ARCHIVE: Next generation access
The Digital Britain Report contained proposals for the roll out of Next Generation Access (NGA), superfast broadband, to at least 90% of the country by 2017. NGA will enable access to faster broadband across the UK. The Government believes this is important in helping Britain remain competitive with other countries, enabling consumers and businesses to exploit the opportunities next generation broadband will bring.
Currently, the market, via BT and Virgin Media, is expected to deliver NGA to approx 60-70% of the country. However, it becomes commercially more difficult outside of these areas (typically more rural areas) due to the high cost of deploying this technology compared to the available market. The pay back periods expected for a return on their investment lengthen significantly as a result.
In order to incentivise investment in this Final Third that the market alone will not deliver to, the Government is creating a Next Generation Fund, which will provide seed-corn funding for investment in these areas. The Fund will be generated by a 50p per month duty on all fixed lines starting from 2010, and will raise an estimated £150-175m per year until 2017. Those on social telephony tariffs will be exempt from the Duty. It is hoped that the legislation for the raising of this Duty will be in a pre-election Finance Bill this year. Without this funding, it is unlikely that rural communities would benefit from next generation broadband in the short to medium term. BIS is currently consulting on proposals for the Next Generation Fund.
Defra, together with the Department for Communities and Local Government, has commissioned NGA research from Analysys Mason Ltd to identify those areas of the country that are most likely to be at a disadvantage as higher speed broadband rolls out. Through this research we’ve been able to characterise the nature of the risks involved and provide real, practical advice on how best to get round the problem. The research paper ‘An Assessment and practical guidance on next generation access risk in the UK’, published in March 2010. The report will help inform public authorities looking to invest in superfast broadband and will also be considered by Broadband Delivery UK (link to previous page) in considering how best to deploy the Next Generation Fund. Anyone with access to Geographical Information System software (GIS) can map the likely rollout of next generation broadband in their area. The aggregated data used to formulate the outputs from the research is available online at
Page last modified: 23 March 2010
Page published: 23 March 2010