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DCMS releases BDUK project update
Wednesday 23 May 2012 21:30:17 by Andrew Ferguson

The seed funding from the Government via the BDUK fund which totals some £530m is at risk of being withdrawn for the areas Essex, East Riding and Black Country projects if the BDUK and Jeremy Hunt decide to hold the projects to the deadline. The summary of the update from BDUK follows:

Project updates

  • Essex, East Riding and Black Country projects are continuing to work on their plans and we have written to the authorities urging them to complete the work as soon as possible
  • Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle are expected to deliver broadband to rural areas as part of their Super-Connected City projects but still need to submit a Local Broadband Plan
  • Portsmouth, Southampton and Telford & Wrekin were involved in joint projects but have since withdrawn
  • We have given Telford & Wrekin until the end of May to re-join the Shropshire project or their funding will be withdrawn.
  • Portsmouth and Southampton are eligible for the second round of Super-Connected City funding but any application will be dependent on them having or being part of approved plans for taking broadband to rural areas
DCMS BDUK Update Press Release

With some areas now withdrawing from the project, this may result in other councils starting to question whether to continue their projects, particularly as they are required to put so much of their own money into the projects. The BDUK funding was never going to buy the UK a full fibre roll-out, but fragmentation and areas dropping out will increase the chances of the UK not meeting its target of best broadband in Europe by 2015.

If the Government allows councils to walk away from the BDUK project, it reflects on both the council and Government, due to the lack of commitment by all parties to broadband and the potential growth it represents for the economy. As the current plans stand the 2015 goal is more about ensuring a political 'promise' has been met, than actually providing the best possible service for the maximum number of people.

Comments

Posted by camieabz over 5 years ago
"If the Government allows councils to walk away from the BDUK project, it reflects on both the council and Government, due to the lack of commitment by all parties to broadband and the potential growth it represents for the economy."

Surely if the councils were committed, then central government wouldn't hold them to the deadline? Is there evidence of councils being committed or not?
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
If they were committed they would have met the deadline, surely ?
Posted by Michael_Chare over 5 years ago
I am just glad that Kent is not on this list. If it was I would be complaining to my County Councillor as well as trying to gain support from the parish council.
Posted by PhilCoates over 5 years ago
If councils walk away, do the available BDUK funds get split between the councils who are left? i.e. those that stick with it get a bigger slice of the pie?

Also, does anyone know where one can get the detail of the councils submission to study?
Posted by jonny4288 over 5 years ago
looking at the google docs in the bduk press release

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ah3sVRjT82kKdE9UUjl2VEJDaWZHV1BldXgzUDdxcWc#gid=0

there are tick boxes with target completion i.e A1 A2 B1 B2...

wales have a tick in there box for C

Checkpoint C – Agree “Ready to contract” i.e. prior to local body signing contract with preferred bidder and prior to BDUK signing a Grant Agreement
Posted by jonny4288 over 5 years ago
(....cont)

rutland is the only other district that has reached checkpoint C and they have already signed there contract

Hopefully have some news from welsh government / BT on contract signed soon then.. . fingers crossed.
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
Maybe they should try teaming up with the EU instead. Cornwall seems to have done well out of that deal :)
Posted by Tacitus over 5 years ago
It never ceases to amaze me how Councils - regional and local - fail to appreciate the amount of money in various pots the EU has to dole out. Even less do they make a concerted attempt to get their hands on it.

Kudos to Cornwall for doing it.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Cornwall qualifies for Objective One funding, which makes a big difference.

Some other councils are adding amounts of EU money to their projects, and some are using it for fixed wireless already.
Posted by tony8436 over 4 years ago
Great, my council is on that list. Guess I'm stuck with 1.5Mbps. Thanks Telford & Wrekin Council you c**t's
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