For the purposes of State Aid, a public consultation is required to confirm that the rest of Scotland procurement will target EU defined White areas for provision of Next Generation Broadband and Basic Broadband.
Investment will be focussed primarily on the delivery of Next Generation Broadband as this may in part address areas with no current basic broadband provision and will enable a reduction in cost of provision of basic broadband to the remaining areas.
The BDUK “umbrella” State Aid notification to the European Commission would allow the Scottish Government to use its discretion in deciding whether to recognise networks in areas that would otherwise be classified as Grey. This would be applicable if the combination of price, service and choice is not deemed sufficient to meet customers’ requirements, in effect still representing a market failure in those areas.
In responding to this consultation, operators will need to provide sufficient information to enable the Scottish Government to make a judgement about whether areas should be classified as NGB Black, Grey or White, for the purposes of defining our intervention area.
This consultation also provides an opportunity for local stakeholders (including businesses, the public sector, voluntary groups, local communities and people who live and work in the geographic boundary of the procurement) to comment on the strategic aim and priorities of the project and the commercial approach taken for procurement.
Responses to this consultation must be received by 9am on Wednesday 28 November 2012. Public responses to this consultation will be used to refine the requirements for the Call-off Contract Invitation to Tender (ITT).