Chris Townsend CEO of BDUK to step down in April
Some surprising news today as Chris Townsend who has been the CEO of BDUK for three years is to leave in April 2017 and is set to become commercial director of Chelsea FC.
"I have enjoyed my three years as CEO of BDUK and it has been an honour and privilege to lead a high-performing team which has achieved outstanding results. I am proud to have been a DCMS Board Director and part of the executive leadership team which has secured an outstanding rise in staff engagement over the last 3 years.
I would like to extend my thanks to the Secretary of State and her Ministerial team for the support given in order to achieve the success of BDUK to date. We are on track to achieve the 95% target by December 2017.Chris Townsend statement
When Chris Townsend joined the Broadband Delivery UK team as CEO three years ago things were very different and superfast broadband coverage in the UK was at 77.5% (77.1% 30 Mbps and faster) and just under three years later it is hitting the 92.3% to 92.4% mark and with the roll-outs continuing a goal of 95% in ten months is in sight. One of the often unsung changes has been that the BDUK contracts in the second phase have diversified and not all gone to a single supplier as the original contracts did when they all went to the BT Group.
"Chris brought a wealth of experience with him to the DCMS when he joined three years ago, and has overseen a remarkable transformation of the UK’s digital landscape. More than nine out of ten homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband and we are on track to reach 95 per cent by the end of this year.
I wish Chris all the best for this exciting career move, and thank him for the tremendous contribution he has made to the work of the department.Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley MP
We await news of the successor and look forward to engaging with them and even when all the existing broadband goals are met there is lots of work to be done to expand the various ultrafast broadband visions and ambitions into actual plans that are delivered. The technology sphere is one where you need to start work on the next version of whatever it is, before you've even fully delivered the first due to the pace of change involved.