Superfast broadband - two years late and £207m over budget

5 July 2013

broadband Remember those bastards in parliament parping on about introducing superfast broadband to rural Britain, so this godforsaken isle can compete with the rest of the world? Well, their plan is running two years late and, in addition to that, it is costing taxpayers much more than expected.

Figures from the National Audit Office say that just 9 of the 44 local projects will be finished by the original target date of 2015 and that this scheme will cost the public an additional £207 million.

This extra cost came about after no private companies wanted to invest the £1.2 billion costs, leaving BT as the only active bidder.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: "The rural broadband project is moving forward late and without the benefit of strong competition to protect public value. For this we will have to rely on the department's active use of the controls it has negotiated and strong supervision by Ofcom."

The worst affected areas will be Merseyside, Oxfordshire and Derbyshire who aren't willing to commit to a BT contract.

Public Accounts Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: "The DCMS has not had a good enough grip on its rural broadband programme. The department wanted the private sector to foot 36 per cent of the bill for the £1.2 billion rural broadband programme, but it is now expected to contribute just 23 per cent, leaving the public sector purse to cover the rest."

"Opaque data and limited benchmarks for comparison mean the department has no idea if BT is being reasonable or adding in big mark ups. Private sector organisations need to be 100 per cent transparent about their figures when spending public money. It is not acceptable to hide behind arguments about commercial sensitivity."

TOPICS:   Technology   Broadband


  • Daisy D.
    Yes Ms Hodge, it's always best to be absolutely clear about finances:
  • Billybobjimbob
    Relax, folks. Bangalore Telecom are the sole supplier for any of the areas they can be arsed to bid on. Everything's going to work out just fine.
  • Captain.Cretin
    "two years late and £207m over budget" So, for a government project, it is going very well!!!!!

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