What is the RCBF? • The RCBF is a joint £20 million Defra and BDUK fund • The RCBF will provide grants to communities located in hard to reach locations to establish superfast broadband (where need can be demonstrated) • ‘Hard to reach’ as defined in Local Authority Local Broadband Plans - those areas that will not receive superfast broadband through the wider BDUK funded programme. • Superfast is defined as at least 24 - 30 megabits per second.
Who Can Apply? • Community Enterprise, Trusts, Charities, Local Authorities (on behalf of communities), Local Partnerships, groups of businesses (that are beneficiaries, not Internet Service Providers) etc • The applicant will need to be a legal entity in order to enter into a Funding Agreement, and have its own resources in order to fund expenditure prior to claiming their approved grant • The applicant will need to demonstrate compliance with State Aid and public procurement rules
What Can I Apply For? • A community can apply for funds to procure a network operator, or establish the equipment/ infrastructure required for a superfast internet service. • Wherever possible, the internet service established should be aligned with the infrastructure being established in the wider area (led by your Local Authority). • As a guide, there are two broad models to consider in developing an application; • Extending the Local Broadband Plan - Working with the Local Broadband Plan lead on Demand Aggregation, to extend the proposed 90% area infrastructure • Community Enterprise – Community establishes the required infrastructure building their own infrastructure and provide a service directly
How Much Could I Apply For? • You can apply for up to 50% of the total cost of the project, with the remaining 50% required from private sources • No other public funding can be used as match • The maximum investment gap RCBF will support is £300 per premise • Projects may be considered that include more than 50% of the investment from private sources • As an example, match funding can be found from; • those who will receive the service committing to pay a connection charge • or committing to receive the service for a minimum period at a set cost, • or community investment • or from procured Network Operator committing funds to infrastructure/ service development.
How do I apply? • The first stage is to complete and submit an Expression of Interest form to your local RDPE Delivery Team by the 31st January 2012. • To enable you to complete the Expression of Interest, including how to demonstrate the need/ demand for your project, you will need to complete the BDUK Community Data-book. • Following an assessment of the Expression of Interest, if your project is selected to proceed, you will be asked to complete a Full application form providing the detail of how your project will be delivered. • You will be notified if your Expression of Interest has been successful by the 29th February 2012.
How will my EOI be assessed? • Your Expression of Interest will be scored against the following criteria; • Strategic Fit - located in a 10% hard to reach locations and solution fits with the County Local Broadband Plan • Value for Money – Does the project demonstrate good value for money? • Outcomes - Has the application established a clear basis for need/ demand for enhanced broadband services. How many people will benefit from the project? • Delivery - Is the proposed solution realistic and sustainable, and how does it fit with the broader superfast broadband infrastructure being established in the area. • Upland Priority Area- Is the project located in an Uplands area? Upland projects will be prioritised. • Community Engagement – is there evidence of community engagement and support for the project.
Who to contact for more information? • The Expression of Interest Form, Guidance Handbook, and Community Broadband Toolkit will be available on www.rdpenetwork.defra.gov.uk/funding-sources/rural-community-broadband-fund