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Why are councils focusing on large demand surveys for broadband?
Wednesday 04 April 2012 12:20:45 by Andrew Ferguson

Some local authorities are perhaps taking the requirements to be able to show that there is demand for better broadband services in their area a little too seriously. Suffolk County Council set itself a target of 10,000 registrations for its faster broadband scheme, and has exceeded this with 11,300 sign ups. It is extending the deadline now until April 14th.

Now while the deadline shifting is not massive, it begs the question why? It is often mentioned that the survey's are needed to demonstrate to potential bidders that there is demand for better services in a county, and thus the bidder should invest. Alas the BDUK tendering process appears to be down to two runners, BT in the guise of Openreach, and Fujitsu.

The message should be loud and clear to local authorities, get on with the tendering process and awarding the contracts. Then work can start and businesses and residents reap the benefits.

It is clear that many projects will award their contract to BT, perhaps a case of better the devil you know, if Fujitsu with its fibre to the premises project had used the time since putting itself forward as an option to starting providing service in several smaller towns across the UK then we believe the story may have been different.

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 2 years ago
Surveys are something they can control and get on with and everyone can relate to. Creates the impression of activity.
Posted by chrish16 over 2 years ago
I expected Sky offering this to all Sky TV customers not just their broadband users!
Posted by walker44 over 2 years ago
I've yet to see a compelling argument why my taxes should be spent on subsidising people's internet access. That's because there isn't one. If you want it: pay what it costs. If you think this is too expensive, you obviously don't want it enough. Take your hands out of my pocket.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 2 years ago
Councils do have the problem of deciding which areas to do first. Demand, as measured by such surveys, is not an unreasonable criteria. If a delay to the BDUK project makes the adoption of FTTP more likely especially in rural areas, the I am all for a delay.
Posted by Saurus over 2 years ago
It will be interesting to see if this changes anything from the BT site which tells me no exchanges out of the 21 in my part of Suffolk are due for an upgrade anytime in the future.
Posted by TavistockSFB01822 over 2 years ago
Could not agree more Andrew. These surveys are the electronic equivalent of paper shuffling and time wasting.

Millions of pounds is being spent on this so called administration that could be used on more superfast roll-out.
Posted by PhilCoates over 2 years ago
@walker44

I have yet to see a compelling arguement why my taxes are spent on subsidising The Red Arrows/the defence of the Falklands/bailing out banks etc.

The democratically elected governments of this country have deemed that BDUK funding should be made available to provide internet access to not spots. Even if we don't agree with it, I'm afraid none of us can specify where our taxes are specifically directed.
Posted by KevG123 over 2 years ago
Being a resident of the peoples republic of Norfolk, absolutely agree with this article
Posted by creakycopperline over 2 years ago
`@walker you idiot, you aren't subsidising their monthly charge. they already have access. it's for improving speed. i'm sure you would whistle a different tune if you could not get access.
and idiots on here champion the privete sector saying it's the only way. whenh they turn their noses up at anything they can't make money off.
Posted by Stoobs over 2 years ago
Suffolk County Council - Pissing into the wind since 1974...
Posted by deanwade over 2 years ago
I suspect they have extended the period while personnel are on Easter break, extend their employment and (as suggested earlier) give the impression of activity. It shall be interesting to see if they slip the schedule.

Public servants and technology projects do not have a good track record.
Posted by chrisjwilkinson over 2 years ago
Suffolk County Council have a bit of a past as far as BT are concerned and will want to be careful not to hand any contracts over to them too quickly. Part of the delay is probably down to them trying to work out how to get past that hurdle.
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