The Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) was very ambitious in its hope that the £20 million of funding would stretch to providing superfast broadband to some 60,000 of the more remote and rural properties in the UK. Alas arguments and political battles over getting postcodes de-scoped from the much larger county/BT led projects meant may groups gave up, or may just have folded under the weight of paperwork needed to get hold of Government subsidy.
Back in July the DCMS published an update on the what has been delivered so far, and this report also highlights that the RCBF is likely to only pass around 20,000 to 25,000 premises, since feedback from projects has revealed a higher cost than originally expected. The report features three projects that are delivering now, and there are more RCBF projects underway that got allocated funding just before the scheme closed that may add to the total. NOTE: The figures that follow are a combination of verified installs and predicted installs.
While easy to scream failure at the RCBF system it is delivering for some people and projects like the one in Buckinghamshire deliver it may in the next year or two look less of a white elephant. A lot of the blame over bid failures is aimed at BT, but it should also be said that bidding for any form of Government subsidy in any area is a long and complex process built up over hundreds of years to try and avoid everyone scamming the system and building a monorail like in a classic Simpsons episode (S4E12).