Suffolk: Europe blamed for delay in broadband signing
PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 September 2012
FINAL agreement for work to bring superfast broadband to all parts of Suffolk has still not been agreed by the government – because of EU regulations.
It had been thought that today’s county council cabinet meeting, which will award the contract to introduce broadband to communities across Suffolk, was the final hurdle in the battle to bring in broadband.
However the government funding for the scheme, coming from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), has still not been finalised because it is subject to EU competition law.
Suffolk county council leader Mark Bee raised the issue with the Prime Minister at a Downing Street reception. He was hopeful that the issue would be sorted out in October, allowing work to start on schedule in November.
Mr Bee said: “We had expected the government money to be all signed off well before now so the cabinet would be the last stage in the process after which we could say with certainty ‘all systems are go.’ However there is still this delay with the government money. It is now way above the level of the Department of Culture – it is a Prime Ministerial matter because it involves money and the EU.”
Today’s cabinet will award the contract to introduce broadband to all parts of Suffolk to BT after the only other bidder, Fujitsu, told the EADT that it had not pressed ahead with the bid it had been considering in the early summer.