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Digital infrastructure in North Lincolnshire

Information about digital infrastructure and broadband in North Lincolnshire.

Digital Infrastructure News

10 May 2021 – KCOM broadband boost planned for Broughton, Goxhill and Scawby

24 March 2021 – £1.8m broadband boost for 1,500 rural North Lincolnshire homes and businesses through Quickline Contract

Register your interest in having access to ultrafast broadband (FTTP) where you live or work

Find out what we are doing to improve broadband and mobile internet in North Lincolnshire. Register your interest in having ultrafast broadband (FTTP) in your area.

We are working with telecoms providers to bring ultrafast broadband to more areas in North Lincolnshire. Ultrafast broadband provides download speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps). It is also known as ‘full fibre’, ‘fibre to the premises’ and ‘fibre to the home’.

As we spend an increasing amount of time online for work and for recreation, the faster the broadband speed we have access to, the more efficient we become. Individuals and businesses can work and compete at a global level, families and larger households can have multiple devices online at the same time, without interruption, and communities can benefit from a better digital infrastructure, making online services easier to access.

To have the best chance of your area being upgraded, ask local businesses, friends and neighbours to register their interest too.

There will be no obligation to buy into the service when it becomes available. Telecoms providers and the Government will fund the upgrade to the network. You can then choose whether or not to purchase an ultrafast broadband contract.

Broadband is the ‘always-on’ way of connecting a computer to the internet using a copper, cable, fibre or wireless connection

Although there is no universally accepted definition of different types of broadband, it is often defined by its download speed, ie the speed at which a device can receive information (data) from the internet. A broadband connection’s upload speed ie the rate at which data, such as your photographs or videos is sent to the internet, is also a vital component of ensuring a high-quality online experience. The speed at which data is downloaded or uploaded is measured in megabits per second often abbreviated to either Mbit/s or Mbps.

The Government and Ofcom use the following terms to define a connection’s speed:

  • decent – download speeds up to 10 Mbps (upload speeds of up to 1Mbps)
  • superfast – download speeds up to 30 Mbps (with upload speeds of up to 10 Mbps)
  • ultrafast – download speeds of up to 300 Mbps (upload speeds between 5 Mbps – 21 Mbps according to the broadband package chosen)
  • full-fibre – download speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s (with similar upload speeds).

Broadband that offers faster download than upload speeds is often referred to as an asymmetric connection. Asymmetrical connections are caused either by limitations in the capacity of the digital infrastructure or because the internet service provider (defined later) limits upload speeds.

Broadband services delivered over copper telephone lines often suffer from lower than advertised headline speeds because the signal degrades with distance. Full fibre connections, where the fibre optic cable extends all the way to the customer premises do not suffer from the same problems.  Hence full fibre connections are capable of delivering very high speed, symmetric services, often of 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps), irrespective of location, urban or rural.

Wireless broadband services come in two types – fixed and mobile. Fixed Wireless Access services connect to an antenna usually sited on the customer premises. Mobile broadband uses the mobile phone network to deliver services.

What can a family do with different download speeds at home

While a decent broadband or a 3G mobile connection will enable basic web browsing, if a family wants to enjoy increasingly high definition videos such as 4K (Ultra HD) via demand services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer, they will need a faster connection, especially if several people in a family are using different services at the same time.

What can a business do with different download speeds

For any business, internet connectivity is essential. With superfast broadband, businesses can communicate with customers and colleagues using video conference platforms and run e-commerce operations. But the more employees a business has, the faster its connection needs to be.

Symmetric connections, where download is as fast as upload speed are especially important for businesses. With an ultrafast symmetric connection uploading files to a cloud service is as quick as storing them on a local hard disk. This is extremely useful for small businesses and home workers who are increasingly moving to cloud services for resilience, security and convenience. Fast upload speeds also facilitate video communications for both social and business interaction.

‘Digital connectivity’ is an all-encompassing term used to describe mobile or fixed connections to the internet. Being connected in this way has become part everyday life – as important to communities and businesses as a water, gas or electricity connection.

With better access to high speed and reliable broadband and mobile connections, local communities can access public services more conveniently and purchase goods online at a lower cost. People can work from home, cutting out their commute and improving their quality of life.

Businesses can grow, become more productive, sell their products in a global market and access a raft of services not available to those offline.

Tourists can find out more information about local attractions and share photographs of their experiences with friends and on social media.

In contrast, areas stuck in the digital slow lane are less attractive places to live, work and visit, and risk being left behind as other areas reap the benefits of our digital revolution.

For more information on digital connectivity and the different technologies available, see the Local Government Association’s guide.

Most people in the UK are connected to a basic broadband connection, however there remains too many communities where streaming a movie at home, or sending photos to friends and family via email is considered a luxury. These poorly connected areas aren’t just hamlets deep in the countryside. Some of our larger towns, such as Scunthorpe and Brigg, have areas with average speeds far below the Government’s minimum aspiration.

Similarly, while many parts of the country take for granted the existence of ever-present, high-quality mobile connectivity, there are significant gaps in coverage. These gaps are usually found in rural communities, where residents suffer from partial mobile coverage, where not all mobile network operators cover an area.  ‘Not spots’, where a mobile phone will not be able to make a call on any network, can be common.

5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks, following on from previous mobile generations 2G, 3G and 4G. Compared to most of today’s networks (which primarily use 4G and 3G technology), 5G is set to be far faster and more reliable, with greater capacity and lower response times.

As technology continues to evolve, it is vital that all local areas have the digital infrastructure able to meet the demands of consumers and businesses both today and in the future.

Better digital infrastructure will enable North Lincolnshire Council to fully utilise advances in technology and data analysis, allowing us to better understand our local communities and deliver services more effectively.

The transformation of public sector assets,  such as lamp posts into “smart infrastructure”, means we can now supply public access to wifi, support environmental monitoring, such as air quality or flooding, or even monitor pedestrian flow or parking spaces.

By working with the Government and telecoms providers, we are committed to bringing the best digital infrastructure to North Lincolnshire, including ultrafast broadband and a 5G mobile network.

We are interested in supporting all telecommunication providers in the market with the delivery of better infrastructure across North Lincolnshire.

We are keen to support voucher schemes, commercial builds, pilots or any other approaches. We will be fair to all providers who are interested in delivering services in our area.

If you are a telecommunication provider and would like support from the council, please contact paul.smith@northlincs.gov.uk

Public consultations and open market reviews

A Public Consultation to determine and validate the Intervention Area for North Lincolnshire Council procurement for Phase 3 of the Northern Lincolnshire Broadband programme closed on 25 November 2019.

The Public Consultation followed an Open Market Review (OMR) with the telecoms market to which suppliers responded with information on their existing infrastructure and commercial plans in the project area.

Our Open Market Review closed on 3 September. The details below are now for information only. Please contact us if you have any questions.

The Northern Lincolnshire Broadband Project is striving to extend the availability of NGA broadband infrastructure in North Lincolnshire.

North Lincolnshire Council intends to procure further coverage of NGA broadband infrastructure (capable of delivering download speeds of at least 30 Mbps) in areas within its programme area where such broadband is currently unavailable.

As part of this new procurement process, we are now commencing an Open Market Review (OMR) [DOC, 3Mb] to establish existing and planned (those over the next three years) commercial coverage of broadband services across the North Lincolnshire Broadband Area by all existing and any prospective, NGA broadband infrastructure providers.

This OMR is intended as a precursor to a formal public consultation document.

Your response required

We are sending this OMR to all recognised broadband infrastructure and internet providers in our area for you to be able to review and respond on. In addition, we are also publishing this OMR document on our website along with relevant information needed.

How to respond

Should you wish to be included please ensure you send the correct signed PSMA Standard Form Contractor Licence. Once received we will then provide yourselves with the relevant information for you to consider review and respond.

Our Open Market Review closed on 17 April 2021. The details below are now for information only. Please contact us if you have any questions.

North Lincolnshire Broadband Project – Request for information from infrastructure suppliers

North Lincolnshire Council are reaching out to broadband infrastructure suppliers who are operational in the area to better understand the level of broadband access across the area in order to inform future plans.

Data currently held by the council dates back to September 2019, so, as part of an open market review, the council would like to capture current and up-to-date information relating to levels of broadband access across the area and investment planned over the next three years.

This open market review is not currently a precursor to a full procurement or public consultation. However, if a full procurement is a requirement in the future, all respondents to the open market review will have the opportunity to validate any outcomes determined by information received. In addition, North Lincolnshire Council would invite all stakeholders (e.g. including the public, businesses, internet service providers and broadband infrastructure operators) to provide feedback about the proposed eligible areas being considered for investment at this stage.

Next steps – please review the Open Market Review document [PDF, 378Kb] and respond before 17 April 2021 11:59pm.

A template is available for responses. In order for suppliers to access this, a Public Sector Geospatial Agreement licence will need to be granted. This can be requested by completing the PSGA-contractor-licence-form [DOC, 101Kb] and returning it to nlbb@northlincolnshire.gov.uk Officers will send the template, containing premises information, once the licence has been granted.

Contact

For more information about digital infrastructure in North Lincolnshire, please email nlbb@northlincs.gov.uk.