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NextGen Challenge 2012 - Winners Announced

Award for Collaborative Advantage


Connected and Transformed (CityFibre)
By integrating their separate administration, health, libraries and education networks, the City of York Council not only transformed services and saved money, but also created the backbone for a city-wide Fibre to the Home network that will position the city as the Digital Infrastructure Capital of the North.

Mark Collins CityFibre and Roy Grant City of York Council receive their award from Lord Erroll and David Harrington


The Next Generation arrives at Wembley City (Magnet Networks)
Embedding broadband as an essential utility in the design of the Wembley City development has not only enabled hundreds of new jobs but is seen as an exemplar for economic and social regeneration throughout the UK.


Ultrafast in Appleton & Eaton (Gigaclear)
Working collaboratively with a local broadband group, the parish council and the County, Gigaclear has delivered Gigabit Internet to over 400 homes and businesses in these rural Oxfordshire villages.

Connecting the County (Northamptonshire County Council)
Inspiring and encouraging local communities to enable the provision of high capacity broadband with the assistance of grants from DEFRA's Rural Community Broadband Fund.

Free Metro Wi-Fi in Westminster (City of Westminster)
Recognising the ability of local Government to create a successful partnership with a major mobile operator to offer City-wide free Wi-Fi at no cost to the Council, benefiting both those who work in and those that visit key Westminster locations including the West End.

Award for Rural Leadership and Community Development


Hereford marrying the Medieval with the 21st Century (Cambium Networks and allpay Broadband)
Using church towers and spires to bring wireless broadband to communities in every parish in the Diocese of Hereford.

Graham Bolton - Cambium Networks and Lisa Howell from allpay Broadband receive their award


Broadband not-spots eliminated in rural East Yorkshire (KC)
Committed to ending the digital divide between rural and urban Britain, KC eliminated all of the broadband notspots - where download speeds were less than 2Mbps - three years before the Government's 2015 target for this achievement.

Woolage Green (vfast internet)
Targeting a local 'broadband not spot' in the parish of Womenswold, Kent with an innovative use of wind and solar power to bring next-generation broadband to remote rural communities.


St Brides gets broadband boost (Spectrum Internet)
Seven miles from Cardiff and Newport, broadband speeds in the St Brides community have been boosted and, after visiting the village, Welsh Government Minister Edwina Hart was inspired to extend grant support for many other digitally disadvantaged villages.

Rothbury Community Broadband (GreySky Consulting)
Deep in the heart of Northumberland, Rothbury is fair trot from Morpeth or Alnwick and it shows in the relatively poor local broadband performance - but this project will reverse decades of digital disadvantage.

Revitalising Highlands and Islands (HebNet CIC)
The UK's geographically largest rural broadband network, HebNet, now connects Eigg, Muck, Rum, Canna and the Knoydart peninsula – restoring growth to their local economies.

Award for Innovative Funding Solutions


‘By the community, for the community’ (B4RN)
Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) is a community enterprise addressing broadband needs in parishes to the east of Lancaster by using fibre to properties and a great deal of local support.

Rob Lyle from B4RS receives the award on behalf of B4RN


Enriching Edinburgh (Almond Networks)
Designed to serve 30,000 residents and Edinburgh City Airport this project charts progress in the race to raise funds for a faster digital future and a smarter, healthier, economy.


Fibre to the People (Cotswolds Broadband)
Raising funds for an innovative broadband scheme that will future-proof the service to people, businesses and communities in and around West Oxfordshire.

The Road to Better Broadband (Broadway Partners)
Working with the North Dorset Trailway, South Hams Broadband in Devon and Cotswolds Broadband in West Oxfordshire, to pioneer fresh approaches to funding by making good use of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and local investors.

Award for Urban Network Enterprise


Hyper-fast living and working in London (Hyperoptic)
Hyperoptic works with freeholders, developers, property managers and residents to bring Gigabit broadband services to residential and business developments, providing an unrivalled connection that increases the attractiveness of each property.

Dana Tobak MD Hyperoptic receives the award from Lord Erroll and David Harrington


Broadband at Brooklands (IFNL)
In the design of the Brooklands development of Eastern Milton Keynes, Places for People took the decision to deliver a future-proof fully-fibred broadband network that will eventually serve 2,500 homes, schools, shops and leisure facilities.


B-Open (Bristol City Council)
Bristol City Council was already ahead of the game in 2004 and now, by extending its already extensive network to provide free WiFi into public spaces, it is showing Local Authorities throughout the UK the economic and societal benefits of integrating a range of public service networks.

Advanced management for an advanced island (Netadmin Systems)
Making Jersey the best-connected island of fibre, Netadmin, the market leader for network management systems, is designing an advanced and flexible management system.

The 2012 version had more categories and reflected the wider impacts of digital infrastructure investment across the whole economy. The independent judging panel were Chi Onwurah MP, Dr Peter Cochrane and David Harrington - Head Regulatory Affairs CMA. The awards evening was hosted by Chi Onwurah MP with speeches by Lords Errol and Inglewood.


1. Innovative funding solutions - examples of achievement in assembling the financial resources to deploy advanced digital access networks
2. Rural leadership and community development - examples of individuals or teams working to bring communities together to deliver local access network projects in ‘hard-to-reach’ areas.
3. Urban Network Enterprise - examples from larger communities and developments where the quality of network access is a significant factor in local economic growth.
4. Collaborative Advantage - an award for exceptional endeavour in developing multi-party public/private collaboration to plan and/or deliver locally sustainable FTTH deployments.
5. Applications Innovation - an award for the enablement of new and locally inspired digital services – particularly those that are relevant for local people and meet local needs.
The judging panel’s over-arching theme this year is ‘Sustainability: the end game for the next generation’. In addition to the 3-part assessment process (Challenge, Solution and Achievement) the judges will be looking for evidence of designed sustainability – the degree to which these solutions and achievements can be replicated throughout the UK.