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.