Project Gigabit – Change through Regulatory Compliance

Paul Rhodes, Managing Director at Perform Partners
Paul Rhodes, Managing Director at Perform Partners
30.03.2023  |  5 MIN
Perform Team Collaborating

‘Project Gigabit’ has come a long way since it was first announced, and several contracts are already underway. According to the latest report, £1 billion of Project Gigabit’s funding is now available to suppliers. However, the complex regulatory requirements and contract terms can form a challenge for network operators as it will likely expand beyond core business activities. This type of transformation requires knowledge and experience of delivering change through Regulatory Compliance.

What is Project Gigabit and how is it being rolled out?

Project Gigabit is the Government’s nationwide £5 billion programme that aims to provide rural and remote communities with access to gigabit-capable broadband. The project is run by Building Digital UK (BDUK) on behalf of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. It targets homes and businesses in hard-to-reach areas across the UK that are not included in broadband suppliers’ plans and might otherwise miss out on getting the digital connectivity they need.

The current target is to reach a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025, with the further rollout to get as close to 100% as possible. The main part of Project Gigabit is the procurement of contracts for telecoms providers to compete for subsidies to deliver gigabit capable networks.

Key considerations when bidding for Project Gigabit

According to the latest winter update, there are six live contracts with an overall value of £162 million and 20 procurements, totalling over £1 billion in subsidy. With more contracts to be awarded, the Government is actively encouraging providers of all sizes to take part.

To ensure project success, the criteria used by BDUK are deliberately demanding and can become a hurdle for some operators or even put some operators off from bidding. Operators must demonstrate relevant experience and expertise in delivering superfast broadband infrastructure, as well as providing a breakdown of how they will deliver the rollout, including social value concerns for their chosen region.

What is Regulatory and Compliance Change?

Regulatory and Compliance Change is embedding best practice customised mechanisms that allow organisations too quickly adapt to regulatory change, ensuring compliance.

The contract terms and conditions can be complex and onerous, and a careful review is recommended given the extensive obligations on operators. This is particularly the case for operators that may have insufficient procedures or resources; such as having a business analysis and project governance practice in place to identify gaps and implement new procedures.

Regulatory change control will help support your bid and align your organisation to the new regulatory environment.

Transformation requires a clear understanding of regulatory requirements; understanding what is stipulated in the Government contract, assessing, and addressing internal operating model adjustments, and reviewing the end-to-end supply chain in detail. Failure to comply could results in fines, withdrawal of subsidies, or onerous legal action.

It is essential that advice is taken early to identify potential issues. Early engagement helps ensure sufficient time for delivering the project.

Symptoms of a business problem when facing Regulatory and Compliance Change

A common symptom of a business problem for this type of project is identifying gaps in existing processes. Analysis as a skill is not necessarily a fundamental part of the internal team makeup. When a project of this scope is progressed without analysis to clarify the roadmap, there is risk of ambiguity, blockers and challenges that can cause issues in the future. An analytical view will provide a firm set of requirements, enabling the team to understand the full scope of the project.

Another symptom of regulatory change is unplanned impact on other areas of the business. Organisations in this space are focused on scaling their operation and delivering the service and infrastructure outcomes. Team output is optimised to achieve the strategic goals. When teams are then stretched to further support projects of this scale, the project faces risk around decision-making and direction, uncertainty around roles and responsibility, delaying core strategic growth plans. Ultimately, there is a risk of failure to deliver. To succeed, dedicated skilled teams must be formed with a focus on understanding, progressing, and delivering the contractual obligations.

Defining a Regulatory Change Management Strategy & Process – The Perform Way

Having supported network operators in the telecom space, we have the know-how and can provide support in the following areas:

  • Analysis: Quality analysis is the key to successful change. We use a wide-ranging toolkit of analysis techniques to tailor our approach to your business needs. Previously, Perform Partners have identified for the customer all change required to comply to Project Gigabit regulations.
  • Design: In order to deliver sustainable change, we consider all business and user needs at every step of the design journey. We develop solutions alongside our customers to deliver pragmatic and effective solutions that are bound to the key business outcomes.
  • Delivery: Our approach to delivery is to implement a robust framework and then remain flexible to manage the inevitable challenges.
  • Tech: Our specialists can lead and augment your tech teams to deliver best-of-breed solutions and help reduce your existing technology costs.

Every organisation is different. Whether we focus on one or more areas, the services we provide are bespoke to the organisation’s needs. We use embedded processes and best practice that supports regulatory change and operate based on a ‘tried and tested’ framework that ensures transformational success.

We are drawing on our extensive experience of delivering change through regulatory compliance when facing into a project of this scope. Regulatory change is always complex and requires clarity of vision and fully understanding the route ahead. We often say that the map is not the terrain, and when facing regulatory compliance, experience of delivering change management is paramount.

Let’s remove ambiguity and create clarity around what opportunities Project Gigabit may have for you.