Connecting Devon and Somerset – Northleigh

1.What is your estimate of the cost to Airband of replicating the groundwork already done by Openreach and the additional work needed to complete the ultrafast coverage to the remaining 91 premises?

Devon County Council (DCC) do not hold this information. Information of this nature would only become available to Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) at the survey and design stage for the relevant cluster.

2. Please provide details of any approach made to Airband to see how they would react to losing a very small part of their contractual obligation now to allow an alternative option, and if so what was that reaction?

DCC do not hold this information. The discussions CDS had with Airband were via calls and online meetings.  There are no transcripts of these conversations.

3. Accepting that all exceptions to a contract can have a knock-on effect, we request details of any other local schemes which have an already costed option that will be covered by the GVS scheme and not cost CDS any more money and a willing provider able to react quickly to solve this problem?

This information is not held by DCC. The Gigabit Voucher Scheme is administered by Building Digital UK.

4. Please provide the initial tender document for the rollout of Gigabit Internet within territory E12.

The Invitation To Tender (ITT) was made available on an open basis to all interested parties when the Contract Notice was published and is therefore already in the public domain.  In the interests of advice and assistance, please refer to this Invitation to Tender document.

5. How many companies were invited to tender?

The tender opportunity for Lot E (and the other Lots of the tender) was advertised in the Official Journal of the European Community on an open and transparent basis, and any economic operator was able to submit an expression of interest in respect of any Lot.

6. How many companies actually tendered for E12?

CDS received one tender for Lot E.

7. Please provide the current Airband contract covering territory E12.

DCC can confirm that we hold a copy of the contract, and is currently being processed for future publication. As the publication date is imminent, and in fairness to all concerned, we believe it is reasonable, and in the public’s interest, to exempt it from disclosure under Section 22 FOIA, information held with a view to its future publication. 

8. Please provide your own economic analysis as to why you say it will be detrimental to other areas if Northleigh pursues its own solution.

DCC do not hold this information. A detailed analysis of this nature could only be conducted by CDS at the survey and design stage for the relevant cluster.

9. Please provide any CDS board minutes that address and discuss Northleigh’s request to be released from the Airband contract and to fund their own scheme under the Gigabit Vouchers Scheme.

DCC do not hold this information because there are no board meeting minutes relating to this matter.

10. How many other areas have made (similar) requests to (Northleigh) have their area descoped from the relevant contract and how many have been approved ?

There are no equivalent instances of a community having specifically requested/been granted a descope in the similar circumstances.

11. Please provide confirmation and copies of any results that Airband have in fact undertaken detailed surveys and cost analysis for the Northleigh area, including their recent initial assessment.

DCC do not hold results of Airbands’ survey or cost analysis.

In the interests of providing advice and assistance we can tell you an Airband survey team has visited the area, including Northleigh, to get an initial feel for any risks or benefits from removing the village from the CDS contract. Their initial findings indicate there are significant potential risks that need to be fully examined and assessed. For example, whilst there may be some potential cost savings these are unproven at this stage, and Airband would still need to build through Northleigh to connect other communities in the immediate area. Until a full analysis is carried out it is unclear, for example, whether the loss of contracted premises from removing Northleigh would drive up the cost of delivery elsewhere in the area and eliminate any potential savings. This analysis is something we and Airband need to look at when Airband has produced a more detailed design and we can therefore do a full and final assessment, testing all potential risks or benefits.

12. Please provide details of the estimated cost per household of connecting the remaining 91 Northleigh premises to Gigabit Internet under the Airband contract.

DCC do not hold this information. Information of this nature would only become available to CDS at the survey and design stage for the relevant cluster.

13. Please confirm Airband will need to start their connection work at the base in Honiton and therefore duplicate the 12 km or more of cabling already laid by Openreach, and an explanation of why this is necessary

DCC do not hold this information. Information of this nature would only become available to CDS at the survey and design stage for the relevant cluster.