As ‘Project Gigabit’ has evolved since its announcement in March 2018, the complex regulatory requirements and contract terms have emerged as potential challenges for participating infrastructure providers, often extending beyond their core business activities. Navigating this type of transformation necessitates a deep understanding and expertise in driving change through Regulatory Compliance.
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 aims to help connect 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 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.
Broadband providers compete for subsidies to deliver gigabit-capable networks in the main part of Project Gigabit through the procurement of contracts.
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.
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.
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.
Having supported network operators in the telecom space, we have the know-how and provide best-practice support by applying the three phases of the Perform project lifecycle:
The strategy phase focuses on ensuring the business readiness of the telecom business, preparing them to fully understand and fulfll the contractual agreements established within the government contract. This phase involves a comprehensive assessment of the organisation’s current state, emphasising the efficiency of internal processes and business operations. Through meticulous business analysis, we understand the gaps and set a roadmap for the journey ahead, designing processes and governance structures to facilitate seamless project delivery. The primary goal is to ensure that the business is fully aware of what is required to navigate the complexities of the Project Gigabit initiative.
The execution stage centres around diligent project management of the strategies outlined in the preceding phase, avoiding pitfalls and delays. During this stage, our adaptable squads are poised to scale alongside the evolving needs of the business, bridging any capability and capacity gaps that may arise. The focus remains on providing the governance to effectively deliver the contractual obligations established in the strategy phase, ensuring a smooth and successful implementation of the Project Gigabit initiative. During this stage, we focus on empowering the local team, supporting them with tooling, training and guidance to continue the project as efficiently for the business as possible.
During the optimisation stage, our focus is on building upon the accomplishments of the preceding phases by enhancing progress and identifying opportunities for further improvements. This phase adopts a proactive approach, refining the processes and strategies implemented during the Project Gigabit initiative. Using insights gained from the current project to improve future projects of similar scale, we establish a framework for continual growth and enhancement. This phase prioritises team training, supporting the telecom business in nurturing a skilled in-house team capable of leveraging their skillsets, the established processes, and frameworks to deliver future projects more efficiently.
Our three-phase Perform Way approach ensures our Telecom clients are well-prepared, equipped with a clear map of the journey ahead, and operationally ready to manage projects ahead. This approach fosters a smooth and efficient delivery process and sets the stage for upcoming projects of a similar scale.