The joint Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project in England, which is worth over £100m and hopes to make superfast broadband speeds of 25Mbps+ available to 85% of local premises by 2015 (rising to 100% by 2020), has been delayed following “significant” contract issues with BT.
The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office and local council are understood to have put £52m of public funding on the table (this must be matched by BT), which will target broadband improvements for the 700,000 local residents and 26,000 businesses that would otherwise not be able to benefit from faster internet access.
Fujitsu UK withdrew from the bidding process a long time ago and this left BT as the only operator able to join the related Invitation to Tender (issued on the 29th June 2012). But an article on the BBC today states that “significant issues“, which have not been specified, are now delaying the deal.
BTs Spokesman said:
“We had hoped to make an announcement, but a few outstanding matters still need to be resolved. Whilst the contract is being finalised we are unable to give details due to commercial confidentiality. An agreement is expected shortly.”
The roll-out of improved and superfast broadband was originally due to begin during spring 2013 and could now be at risk of further delay.