Councils fear superfast broadband rollout delay

ByJohn Barker
BT Engineer

Almost half of the local authorities across the UK are expecting the government's superfast broadband roll-out to miss the 2017 target, research by the County Council Network (CCN) reveals.

The survey reveals that 45% of councils fear that fixed line connections will not cover 95% of the population by the expected date.

The government remains adamant that its Broadband Delivery UK project is on course to extend speeds of 24Mb or more to all but 5% of the UK by that time, but recent contracts signed by local authorities have set completion dates up to 2019. BT's also admitted that it may need an extra year to meet the target.

Fibre optic broadband

A spokesperson for the Department for Culture Media and Sport said the rollout is "on track." He added: "Working with our partners in each of the 44 project areas, we're confident of reaching the target to take superfast broadband coverage to 95 per cent of the country by 2017."

"Every day our roll-out reaches 5,000 more homes and businesses, but we want to make sure no one is left behind, and the Budget sets out how we will boost speeds for some of the hardest to reach areas."

George Osborne revealed in the Budget last week that it was a "new national ambition" to extend ultrafast speeds of 100Mb to "nearly all homes" in the UK. However, rural communities are often overlooked and the County Councils Network has said BDUK needs to be "more flexible and transparent" to ensure everyone will soon be able to access superfast speeds.

Source: Financial Times

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Topics: Broadband