Feeds

'Leaked' doc shock: BT denies inflating prices for rural broadband rollout

DCMS won't comment on alleged dismissal of BDUK doc's author

Boost IT visibility and business value

The government has declined to comment on the alleged leaking of a Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) document that reportedly suggests BT has been inflating prices for the deployment of its fibre network to rural areas, which needs taxpayer-derived funds.

It has also been claimed that the author of the apparently damning document - which has been discussed at length around the blogosphere for some weeks now - was sacked by officials at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is headed up by Cabinet minister Maria Miller.

The Register tried to wrangle details about the alleged dismissal of Mike Kiely from the DCMS, which failed to deny the rumour first reported by Br0kenTeleph0n3's blogger, Ian Grant.

A Whitehall spokesman told us: "We do not comment on individual staffing matters."

The Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday that it too had seen the supposed leaked BDUK document, meant only for internal discussions, which appeared to show that there were major concerns about BT unfavourably bumping up its charges to see government subsidies and levies from council tax bills balloon.

A cash stash of £1bn has been committed by the Tory-led Coalition to help BT deploy its fibre network to around 12 million homes and businesses in rural parts of the UK. However, the document reportedly attacks BT for using "pseudo wholesale" numbers to plump up the national telco's costs. A point denied by BT, which has gone on record to say:

BT is winning competitive BDUK tenders precisely because it is committing extra funds to improve broadband access. These funds are in addition to our commercial investment of £2.5bn and so it is ludicrous to suggest that we are trying to pass on the full cost of deployment to our public sector partners.

The DCMS, meanwhile, has insisted - despite the damaging reports that are piling up about BT - that it remains "committed to achieving value for money for all government spending," but has declined to comment on "allegedly leaked documents".

It's been reported by the Telegraph that Public Accounts Committee chair Patricia Hodge has waded into the now very much out-in-the-open confab about BT's pricing methods as they relate to BDUK funding.

She has also urged the National Audit Office to investigate the claims.

Elsewhere, in the not-so-great egg 'n' spoon race for government funding, Fujitsu - which was the only other preferred bidder initially approved by the DCMS - has been effectively frozen out of chasing public sector contracts due to a piss-poor track record.

It's a move that only leaves BT at the table just as the clock is ticking for a response from Brussels on state aid investment that has been withheld while the European Commission probes competition concerns about the broadband market in Blighty. A decision is said to be imminent. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.