Latest Public Sector News

05.07.13

Further delays for rural broadband roll-out

The Government’s rural broadband programme is now expected to be delivered nearly two years later than planned, a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) shows.

Only nine out of 44 local projects are expected to provide 90% superfast coverage by May 2015 and the Government has revised its target to secure delivery by December 2016, with 95% coverage by 2017.

Competition to run the programme has been limited, with potential suppliers withdrawing from the bidding process, leaving only BT as an active participant. There has also only been limited transparency over costs, the NAO found, and the project funding contributed by BT has so far been lower than originally modelled.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 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.” 

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