While the Fast Start approach is being talked of as a pilot scheme to accelerate broadband roll-out our understanding is that it really represents pulling together what would be considered normal project practice for something that crosses various disciplines and builds on what has been learnt from projects like the Superfast Cornwall project and the Openreach commercial roll-out.
A key point seems to be that rather than just a single meeting to discuss the plan, the initial meeting represents the start of a working relationship rather than a series of committee meetings which can often mean death by powerpoint presentations. This means just as in Cornwall BT and council staff will be working together on a daily basis to avoid some of the planning delays and misunderstandings that have caused long delays to some of the commercial deployment.
The key now is for the nine BDUK projects where a contract has been signed to get the information out to the public even if it is relatively vague at the early stages it will at least let people see what is happening. While a lot of the press coverage is about rural areas when there are towns like Wymondham in Norfolk with a population of around 23,000 still waiting on superfast broadband the constant talk of rural coverage with little detail available can get people worried that their town and village which locals do not consider rural will be missed out.
So lets hope that in the course of the next couple of months rough timelines will appear letting people and businesses know what year they can expect upgrades and what technology will most likely be deployed to their area.