Broadband News

Deadline for rural broadband funding extended

If you are in a truly rural area, in other words in one of those parts of the UK where the existing BDUK projects are not likely to reach, then the Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) might help.

The RCBF has a fund of £20m and has been allocating money to various small projects, with a mixture of community and gap funded solutions resulting. The deadline for the final batch of project submissions was originally 24th May 2013, but it appears DEFRA have extended the deadline to 17th June 2013.

We have delayed running with the news of the extension in the hope that DEFRA would update their website to reflect the change, but all we have for now is John Popham's blog, which given he has been working with Grey Sky Consulting on various bids will hopefully be up to date.

The extension is probably not long enough for anyone to start a serious project from scratch now, but the extra couple of weeks may ensure help projects that were struggling to get all the attendant paperwork sorted out.


Is this a deadline for the current batch of funding, or forever?

It seems ridiculous to get communities to bid for this money when they don't know whether BDUK projects will cover their area or not - half of the projects have no signed contracts, and most have no published plans.

  • WWWombat
  • over 7 years ago

Deadline forever as I understand, but then there is politics involved so who knows.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 7 years ago

Did we really need another slow and unwieldy process? How much money has actually been handed over to bidders so far? That's handed over, not just allocated should they be able to prove that they meet the many onerous conditions?

Why not add this on to the BDUK contracts, but with conditions that it has to be used to serve specific communities? At least that way the money gets spent where its needed, is not wasted paying numerous civil servants and consultants.

  • New_Londoner
  • over 7 years ago

Hmm. this blog is dated May. Its now September and still no defra money has been given. Last I heard the funding couldn't be allocated until BT declared which areas were the final 10%. As they haven't a clue what infrastructure they own and where it is then it could be another decade of waiting? Its the engineers I feel sorry for, trying to mend miles of rotting infrastructure in rural areas never knowing where it is and spending most of their 2 hour repair slot just finding it.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 7 years ago

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