The Connecting Cumbria scheme with its map that was published earlier this week caused a bit of a stir amongst the Internet world as many are unable to spot the difference between this and previous maps other counties have published in terms of the level of detail published. What made this map different was that it claimed to follow the approach approved by the DCMS and more importantly the Public Accounts Committee.
It seems that the published map may not have been approved by the Public Accounts Committee, but was more likely the projects interpretation of what the PAC and DCMS want the counties to publish. Certainly when asked by @RuralChris on twitter on what basis did PAC agree the level of detail in the map Margaret Hodge replied:
"@RuralChris We didn't - thanks for bringing to my attention"Margaret Hodge MP on twitter
So it is possible that rather than this map being the final coverage guide there may be further revisions if PAC and maybe the DCMS decide that more detail should be released. We have seen the problems of releasing more data i.e. people don't remember the caveats so get very upset when plans change and an area is delayed or missed out due to challenges that did not arise until final planning work was done and conversely there is the more obvious problem that people do not know what is coming to what area they will get angry and upset.
With UK local elections due to take place on 22nd May 2014, and a General Election in 2015, we can expect to see a lot political discussion around the gap funded projects. Of course we will not know whether another bidder would have provided much clearer information and rolled out exactly what people wanted, or whether given the fixed funding pot would have also tried to ensure the most premises covered as BT is doing rather than starting with the hardest to reach 5% and risking running out of money before the coverage targets were hit.