Feeds

Yet another pricey Olympics' exec drafted in by UK.gov - this time for broadband spending

Ministry of Fun reveals more on £10m fund for alt pilots in remote areas

High performance access to file storage

The Tory-led UK government is desperate for success stories with its big IT projects. As Whitehall ministers increasingly confess to big problems with various tech deployments, they keep turning to the private sector - and specifically execs who delivered the London 2012 Olympic Games* - to help rescue troubled schemes.

Step forward Chris Townsend as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's new broadband boss.

He most recently served as Locog's commercial director and has now been drafted in by the Ministry of Fun to steer its delayed £1.2bn Broadband UK Delivery (BDUK) project.

Townsend's salary and "a significant performance based element" will hit around £200,000 for the extremely well-paid public sector job.

Before his Locog gig, Townsend held marketing directorships at Transport for London, and, perhaps more significantly, BSkyB.

In a canned statement, BDUK's new boss said:

Ensuring that broadband can reach businesses and consumers across the country is one of the most important policies in Government. Faster connections will improve the way people live, work and spend their leisure time.

I look forward to starting my new role as chief executive of BDUK and building on the good work being done to get superfast broadband to people all over the UK.

The DCMS also gave alternative tech providers more details this morning on the £10m cash pile announced in December. They're expected to enter their bids in mid-March to pay for testing ways of deploying superfast broadband connections to Brits living in remote parts of the country.

Ideas floated include satellite tech, fibre-to-the-premises, 4G mobile signals. The aim is to reduce reliance on the copper cabling that telecoms giant BT - controversially the only provider to have bagged millions of pounds of local government BDUK contracts - continues to use for the majority of properties that are linked up to its fibre network via streetside cabinets.

Last year, culture minister Maria Miller was forced to reset the government's over-ambitious plans to roll out speedier broadband networks to 90 per cent of Blighty by 2015 by finally confessing it would be two years late.

Her department now claims that the BDUK programme will have reached 95 per cent of Britain by 2017.

Hooking up the final 5 per cent under that scheme is challenging, Miller has said, which in part might explain the need for added investment.

But it also points to another obvious failing: the extra 5 per cent of Brits were never part of the original plan and the 95 per cent figure was hastily talked up in what largely appeared to be a face-saving exercise in Whitehall, after it could no longer hide the fact that its deadline would be missed. ®

*In May 2013, the government brought in Howard Shiplee to oversee the Department for Work and Pensions' crisis-hit one-dole-to-rule-them-all IT system. He had previously been in charge of building the Olympics Park.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.