Issue details

Endorsement of bids to Coast to Capital LEP: West Sussex Full Fibre Programme

The County Council recognises the strategic importance of next generation connectivity that can facilitate the delivery of future public services and improve the local economy.  Ultrafast (gigabit) broadband is the next generation of connectivity, capable of delivering speeds of 1Gb (1000Mb) or more using pure optical fibre.  In partnership with all district and boroughs (through the West Sussex Full Fibre Programme Board), the County Council is working to make this infrastructure more readily available and have agreed to use funding from the business rate retention pilot for a West Sussex Full Fibre Programme.  

The Programme is bidding for additional funding to support two projects:

1.The County Council is leading the Converged Fibre Connectivity (CFC) bid to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Deal funding. This will connect public sector sites in the first instance and also provide an open access duct and/or fibre spine that connects Crawley (including Manor Royal), Horsham and Haywards Heath to the Burgess Hill Fibre Exchange (BHFX) and link to the Brighton Digital Exchange and the Brighton 5G Fibre Ring.  This should lower the cost of private investment in the roll out of full fibre network for residents and businesses. The CFC Project is set within a backdrop of the Digital Infrastructure Programme of work. This programme includes other similar digital infrastructure projects, for instance focussing on the rural connectivity of West Sussex. Whilst such projects are distinct, they aim to be complementary in nature

2. The County Council is also supporting the “Gigabit Coast” project led by Adur and Worthing Councils which will connect a number of council assets to create or enhance the digital public realm in Worthing.

If successful, these bids, will require match funding from councils of up to £1.65 million per project directly or via the business rates retention pilot and both need endorsement by the West Sussex Full Fibre Programme Board.

The Leader is asked at this stage to endorse match funding for the ‘converged fibre connectivity’ (project 1.above) from the business rates retention pilot held within the capital programme provision if (i) the Growth Deal funding is awarded to the bid and (ii) if agreed by the West Sussex Full Fibre Programme Board.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Decision status: For Determination

Divisions affected: (All Divisions);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 30/07/2019

Decision due: January 2020 by Leader

Lead member: Councillor Paul Marshall paul.marshall@westsussex.gov.uk

Contact: Sarah Bazen, Digital Infrastructure Program Manager Email: sarah.bazen@westsussex.gov.uk Tel: 033 022 22374.

Consultation process

Representation can be made via the officer contact from the beginning of the month in which the decision is to be taken.

Consultees

District and Borough partners and LEP members through bids.

Democratic Services Contact: Suzannah Hill Tel. 033 022 22551

West Sussex Plan Priority: A Council that works for the Community

Background papers

  • None