Three councils unlikely to reach BDUK funding deadline
The department for culture, media and sport (DCMS) have released details today listing the counties who had submitted their local broadband plans to Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) for approval. It also cited the counties whose plans had been approved but had not yet been advertised which is good news for many of those wondering what their county would be doing. Details have been released in the form of data on Google Maps and through a PDF showing the likelihood of meeting the timetable. The map shows 13 counties have had their plans approved, while a further 32 have yet to submit their plans.
While the report shows it is optimistic that most counties will meet the timetable given to them by the DCMS to submit plans, there seems to be bad news for those in the Merseyside, Tyneside and North East Somerset areas. The report has recognised it has little confidence in these three counties to meet the current timetable given.
"I am disappointed that a few councils seem to have slipped behind schedule. I will be seeking urgent talks with these councils to ensure they understand the need to make real progress quickly. We do not intend to continue to fund councils if they continue to fail to deliver."Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries
The DCMS set aside £530 million for broadband in 2010's Spending Review, which will be allocated to councils who submit their plans on how to use the funding by the end of February 2012. This then begs the question, what will happen to money allocated to councils if they don't submit their plans. Will it be re-allocated back out across the other counties?
Many of the councils have also pledged to match the funding given to them by BDUK in order to maximise the broadband upgrade.