Digital Isle of Man, an executive agency within the Department for Enterprise, has commenced the process to choose its preferred supplier to deliver the Island’s National Broadband Plan, outlined in the National Telecoms Strategy. Expressions of interest are being sought for partners to help the Government in its ambitious target of reaching over 99% of the Island’s premises with ultrafast fibre broadband.
The National Telecoms Strategy, which was unanimously approved by Tynwald in October 2018, set out six key themes to set the direction the Island should take to meet Tynwald’s goal of being a world leader in telecoms. While there has been a great deal of activity across all the six themes, a key focus of this strategy was the National Broadband Plan which supports the delivery of ultrafast fibre broadband to as many people of the Island as possible.
Howard Quayle MHK, Chief Minister for the Isle of Man, commented: ‘The implementation of high speed broadband is an issue being tackled by countries around the world, and the Isle of Man Government is committed to delivering this vital commodity to the Island in the most efficient and timely manner possible, supporting the Government to deliver its digital services and the economy as a whole.’
‘I am very pleased to announce we have now started the process to find a suitable organisation to roll-out this plan, in line with our detailed service specification.’
The tender process will contain detailed service specifications and rollout obligations to the designated operator, this includes ensuring that its core service will include speeds of 100Mbps with a top end of 1Gbps.
It is expected that by the end of the year 25% of the Island’s premises will have access to ultrafast fibre broadband available to them and this coverage will continue to rise as the five year plan is rolled out. The Island’s position on the broadband league table has stabilised and is only expected to improve.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Enterprise, added: ‘As we continue to progress our vision to be at the forefront of telecoms innovation, I am delighted to see that the process to rollout the National Broadband Plan is well underway under the expert guidance of Digital Isle of Man.’
‘It is an absolute necessity to have a strong telecoms infrastructure in our modern society, with networks allowing access to entertainment, retail, educational and health services to name a few. Whilst we have a solid base of whole Island broadband to build on, we are committed to delivering ultrafast fibre to over 99% of the Island’s businesses and residences, solidifying our position on the global stage as a leader in power and telecoms infrastructure.’
Expressions of Interest are open today and available through the Government Portal at: https://www.gov.im/procurement
The confirmed supplier will be chosen and announced early in the New Year.