This week has seen the publication of contract notices by two more of Broadband Delivery UK's original four pilot projects, the Highlands and Islands and Herefordshire. The contract notices published previously by Cumbria County Council in March 2011 and NYnet (for North Yorkshire) in May 2011 mean that all four original pilots (as announced last October) have now gone to market. Wholesale provisions and related requirements for open, equitable and transparent access to all service and communications providers are common threads across all four notices.
One of the successful second wave bidders, Devon & Somerset, also issued a contract notice in March 2011, prior to its award of £30m additional funding by BDUK on 27th May 2011. The contract notice is divided into two lots, lot 1 being "Delivery of fast broadband to 4 rural areas as detailed within the ITT" and lot 2 "Delivery of fast broadband to 2 rural areas as detailed within the ITT":
"Funding contributions have been successfully sought from the European Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and Devon County Council's own resources, and tenderers must note that the RDPE physical infrastructure element of this project (Lot 1) must be completed by March 2012. Delivery of lot 2 must be completed by midsummer 2012."It will be interesting to see how these five procurements will fit with BDUK's proposed procurement framework (see 8th June 2011 Industry Day slides at bottom right). Slides 20-28 illustrate how local procurements (such as the ones above already underway?) will proceed in parallel ("parallel call-off negotiation") with the implementation of BDUK's framework - "Local projects will drive much of the development of the final solution design and call-off contract development".
Does this mean that these local procurements, which will be seeking bids from suppliers likely also to be seeking to become suppliers on BDUK's framework at the same time, will be able to plug into BDUK's framework once it's complete?