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Government Reviews State Aid Approach for Broadband Delivery UK

Monday, December 1st, 2014 (11:15 am) - Score 1,233

The Government’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has appointed economic analysts Oxera to conduct an independent evaluation of how state aid (public funding) is being used in the national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, which currently aims to make fixed line superfast broadband (24Mbps+) speeds available to 95% of the population by 2017.

But critics of the scheme, especially those who may be angry at how most of the public investment (around £1.7bn so far) has gone towards BT, probably shouldn’t get their hopes up because the Government aren’t likely to stab themselves in the back and have already said that the review “will be used to support the re-notification of the current scheme for extended period State aid clearance when it expires on 30 June 2015“.

DCMS Statement

The evaluation will be used to verify whether the NBS has been to date implemented in full compliance with the Decision and the Broadband Guidelines; and to understand whether its National Broadband Scheme has met its primary objectives and assess the impact of the scheme on markets and competition, in line with the State aid Evaluation Methodology.

Should stakeholders wish to make representations about either of these two aspects to implementation they can do so by contacting Christopher Davis. He can be contacted by email at Christopher.Davis@oxera.com .

The evaluation will be open to responses from stakeholders until 10th December 2014 (i.e. not enough time for a serious review to take serious responses) and appears mostly designed to support the second round of BDUK funding (i.e. the £250m being spent to go from 90% to 95% coverage between approximately the end of 2015 and the end of 2017).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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