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Councillor Demands Answers on Aylesbury Vale Broadband Progress

Friday, July 14th, 2017 (1:57 pm) - Score 1,255

The Liberal Democrat Councillor for Winslow in Buckinghamshire, Llew Monger, has challenged the financial health and progress of the Aylesbury Vale Broadband project that has been rolling out an ultrafast “full fibre” (FTTH/P) broadband network to a number of rural villages.

The operator, which is currently reaching Hoggeston, Granborough, North Marston, Swanbourne and other nearby villages, claims to have so far covered approximately 2,000 premises and is supported by £700,000 of public investment (loan).

However the project has also run into the odd overbuilding challenge with Gigaclear (here) and a local fixed wireless broadband provider. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition has also taken a look at the setup (here).

Llew Monger said (The Bucks Herald):

“There is an obvious trail of avoidance. I want to know how much money was put into the business and whether the performance of the business matches its financial target.

I have regularly asked to see the management accounts, which surely must be produced, but the constant response is that AVB is a private company. A private company it may be, but it is 95% owned by the council tax payers of Aylesbury Vale.”

However AVB’s Director, Tracey Aldworth, counters by stating that related information and reports on AVB’s progress are freely available in the public domain and their quarter on quarter subscriber growth is 144% (revenue growth of 45%). Apparently Llew Monger is seeking a lot more detail than that.

Aldworth said, “AVB’s key performance indicators for the immediate future will be set out in its new business plan for 2017/18, which is scheduled to be considered in September by a scrutiny committee.”

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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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. 3G Infinity says:

    I would note that Tracey Aldworth is no longer a Director of AVB. The negative debt/equity ratio indicates a Balance Sheet deficiency funded by creditors/debt, so I would say undercapitalised, though it has positive net working capital, for a significant fibre roll out which is CAPEX intensive.

  2. Taxpayer says:

    Tracey Aldworth is a Director again, since August 2017. Still no sign of any financial transparency or published business plan etc…

  3. Taxpayer says:

    The Finance & Services Scrutiny Committee met in August, but no mention at all in the minutes or future agenda of AVB. http://aylesburyvale.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g2448/Public%20reports%20pack%2005th-Sep-2017%2018.30%20Finance%20and%20Services%20Scrutiny%20Committee.pdf?T=10

    No update on the EC investigation anywhere either. Shouldn’t that be important to a so-called ‘scrutiny’ committee? Oh well, it’s only £700,000 of taxpayer money…

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