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Superfast Wireless Broadband - State Aid Requirements

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Adrian Wooster, Broadway Partners …

Adrian Wooster, Broadway Partners

INCA Seminar: Delivering Superfast Wireless Broadband, Manchester, 25-06-14

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. Superfast Wireless ADRIAN WOOSTER'S PERSONAL VIEW OF STATE AID
  • 2. Agenda You have infrastructure? ◦ OMR ◦ Public Consultation You need help delivering infrastructure? ◦ Thoughts on State Aid ◦ Especially wireless Me? ◦ Adrian Wooster ◦ Strategy Director @ Broadway Partners These are my personal observations ◦ BDUK website has plenty of official guidance: ◦ https://www.gov.uk/broadband- delivery-uk#state-aid adrian.wooster@broadwaypartners.co.uk
  • 3. Open Market Review O M R See: BDUK template OMR @ http://bit.ly/1lL3Rhs PURPOSE OF THE OMR An OMR is a precursor to a formal public consultation It is not itself a formal requirement The aim is to understand what broadband infrastructure • is already in place, and • where there are plans for investment within the coming three years
  • 4. Public Consultation P C See: BDUK template Public Consultation @ http://bit.ly/1lL4lnF What is a public consultation? It’s a formal & mandatory step in the State Aid process It allows interested stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the areas the broadband aid is targeting Anyone with an interest can reply If you have infrastructure in the area you should reply
  • 5. Public Consultation P C See: BDUK template Public Consultation @ http://bit.ly/1lL4lnF • Is the aid is being targeted at the right areas? • Is it being done for the right reasons? • Are there are credible investment plans for similar infrastructure projects now or in the next three years You may be asked for more evidence to confirm whether your plans are credible: • business plans, detailed deployment plans, proof of adequate financing , retail and wholesale pricing, etc.
  • 6. What to send DON’T • Make it up • Present your wildest dreams DO • Submit what you have already delivered • Submit your credible plans for the coming three years • The ones you believe and can defend • If the only thing stopping you is proof of sufficient demand say so, and show what you’re doing to secure that • Ask for a breathing space with an interim ruling
  • 7. See: BDUK template Public Consultation @ http://bit.ly/1lL4lnF It is entirely at the local body’s discretion to take into account any investment plans announced following the start of their tender process
  • 8. So you want a grant? adrian.wooster@broadwaypartners.co.uk
  • 9. BDUK NGA Technology Guidelines http://bit.ly/1lL74xy Wireless & State Aid Fixed wireless can be classed as an NGA technology Satellite & mobile wireless are not, currently It must offer significant new capability where a basic broadband infrastructure already exists
  • 10. General requirements Capable of access speeds > 30Mbps ◦ And able to provide > 15Mbps for 90% of your peak times ◦ Not just in theory! You must deliver a “step change” in performance ◦ Provide at least a doubling of average access speeds ◦ Characteristics that enable advanced services like HD streaming ◦ E.g. low latency, jitter Show how you will maintain the capability ◦ Increased take-up & demand ◦ Capacity planning for the next 7 years
  • 11. Things wireless operators may be asked Planning consents ◦ Masts in rural areas? Radio plans & interference analysis ◦ Is the spectrum appropriate? Proposed product offerings ◦ Wholesale pricing and open access Network dimensioning calculations ◦ Contention of masts, backhaul, etc. Evidence that your technology has a future ◦ International standards, etc.
  • 12. Not FttP? Where FttP is not economically viable today, any alternative subsidised NGA solution shall have a commitment to upgrade to fibre components at a later stage if it becomes economically viable ◦ When revenues increase or deployment costs decrease sufficiently You will need to demonstrate your willingness to transition to fibre solutions
  • 13. Clawback “Clawback” is the repayment of any excess subsidy ◦ or, to use Commission terminology, a “reverse payment” Any aid must be the minimum necessary for your project ◦ Not just during the build but for 7 years after! The mechanism will adjust the amount of aid you ultimately get ◦ For example, if your take-up levels mean you no longer needed the full aid
  • 14. Clawback Clawback will require the repayment of excess subsidy at the end of your contract BUT you may also be asked to invest further during the life of your contract ◦ Within the subsidised footprint & not beyond ◦ Its likely to mean capital only The obvious capital project for wireless operators is to increase the fibre footprint If you are in a consortium, take care! Investing further in fibre may reduce one partner’s role at the expense of the other
  • 15. Summary If you want to protect your plans ◦ Engage with OMR if possible ◦ Engage with Public Consultation at all costs! If you want public subsidy ◦ Wireless can qualify ◦ Answer the exam question! ◦ Understand the implications Don’t just take my word for it ◦ BDUK website has plenty of guidance: ◦ https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk#state-aid adrian.wooster@broadwaypartners.co.uk
  • 16. Superfast Wireless ADRIAN WOOSTER'S PERSONAL VIEW OF STATE AID adrian.wooster@broadwaypartners.co.uk