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Is the BDUK a 21st century Ealing comedy film?
Friday 25 January 2013 10:54:03 by Andrew Ferguson

The Register was reporting on the creation of a new team of BT and BDUK people to speed up deployment for various BDUK projects and as such we wanted to check which of the local authorities were actually the nine that had signed a contract. Alas it appears in an update on 9th January 2013 a new version of the project progress document has been uploaded and this only provides area, funding allocation, link to project info, link to public consultation and date that this closes. Previous versions used to let people see what stage an area was at in the procurement process.

It is not clear what this new team will achieve, particularly as with multiple projects progressing at the same time they cannot be in the same place at the same time, and it almost suggests a lack of resources at the County Council level to manage the deployment and resources from BT if it is having to send out fire fighting teams. One worry we have is that if people from outside a county appear that decisions may simply be made via spreadsheets and cost benefit style analysis rather than using actual local knowledge.

Looking back in our news timeline we have Norfolk, Cumbria, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Rutland, Surrey, Suffolk, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire and Wales as the nine projects that have signed contracts. As yet only North Yorkshire has started to deliver anything that you can touch in the street.

We have sent a tweet out to the DCMS to see if there is any reasoning behind the removal of the procurement information from the BDUK website.


Posted by mervl over 4 years ago
Com'on the English answer to any problem is to set up a committee, so the answer to achieve efficiency must be to set up the committee before the problem, surely?
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
wasn't the transparency website thing an EU requirement for the State Aid clearance ?
Posted by JackjJones over 4 years ago seems to sum it up quite nicely...
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago was set up by Richard Brown of Wispa. Versions for rest of UK?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 4 years ago
superfarce is a classic. agree with Jackj - sums it all up very nicely. Yes we do need versions for the rest of the uk but that one could be easily adapted, every county announced it would be the fastest in the country. Each backed up by our friend Bill assuring them they would be. Each county will get cabs where folk can already get connections, and each county will get satellites or bonded copper where folk can't get connections. If they're lucky. its only a usc. best efforts etc.
Posted by Plankton1066 over 4 years ago
The whole BDUK process is now discredited. The whole thing was predicated on competitive tenders. The is now no competition. So it is now a question of how much BT will give for the BDUK money and other sources of funding that the County Councils can find. BT claim that all further FTTC or FTTP they outside of what they have already deployed or are in process of doing is uneconomic. This my well be true but if we are to hand many millions of pounds to one company surely a totally open book policy allowing reasonable profits for BT is now required.
Posted by Plankton1066 over 4 years ago
The county councils need to cooperate to combine their efforts both in terms of technical expertise but also to combine there spending power. Local knowledge needs to be paramount in all of this to as looking at spreadsheets rather than understanding at a detailed local level will produce a dead end infrastructure. I would prefer to stop the entire process BDUK process and figure out a new on rather than proceeding with a badly floored plan.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
whoever is successful in procurement has to be able to prove those areas where not due to be covered in any commercial deployement and thoses figures have to be avaialble under state aid rules i think for 7 yeras
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
planktom -- dead end infrastucture -- think you are misinformed - dont see how extending fibre and enabling un commercial exchanges and cabinte areas will fibre cab been seen as deasd end
Posted by Plankton1066 over 4 years ago
Fastman. My point is that there is only one organisation, BT openreach, who can realistically deploy in many areas. BT are a commercial organisation who have to put the share holders first, therefor there is a temptation to declare areas uneconomic to deploy fttc to with out subsidy, when in fact they might be.
Posted by Plankton1066 over 4 years ago
My second point on local knowledge and dead end. If you do not understand local topography, planning applications, school growth plans etc you will waste money as you will not be laying out the most efficient fttc network to cater for future demand.
Posted by ccxo over 4 years ago
Well their is a clawback mechanism for that situation, where if a area is proved to be economic, ie high take up then only the providers funding can be used.
The public subsidy is then used elsewhere in the counties rollout.

The most efficient FTTC network will enable the areas with the highest populatio

Posted by Plankton1066 over 4 years ago
If we are down to a single vendor who is not open book and has NDA's in place with Local Authorities so that they cannot compare the commercial deals they are getting, who is to know, except the single vendor in question, where the economic/uneconomic cut off point is?
Posted by ccxo over 4 years ago
This is from the EU BDUK approval

The project will beexamined on a regular basis in a monitoring exercise.
An accounting separation will be imposed on the selected bidders under the Framework Agreement as regards the subsidized projects that will make it easier for the granting authorities to monitor the implementation of the projects as well as any extra profit generated.
A benchmarking mechanism will be implemented to avoid any bidders inflating their investment costs and thereby avoiding possible overcompensation to those undertaking
Posted by Plankton1066 over 4 years ago
Love to know how the benchmarking works with a single supplier.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
EFRA- Public acconts committee will need to step in and request Ofcom to change BT Undertakings to secure greater transparency of costs, where BT is preferred bidder and in recipt of state aid.

ON the BBC radio4 Dec 13th and repreated 16th, Openreach said a cabinet was a £100k and every exchange needed £1m +. Recordings available.

In these circumstances Clawback is not enough for LA's to secure VFM. When you consider it has taken Ofcom 4 years so far to tackle over charging for Ethernet services and this is where BT were allowed to make 70-120% margin.
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