Public Accounts Committee right to criticise rural broadband scheme

September 26, 2013 10:40 AM

Responding to the publication of the Public Accounts Committee's report, The rural broadband programmeDominique Lazanski, Digital Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

"The Public Accounts Committee is absolutely right that no more taxpayers’ money should be spent on this scheme until the DCMS has delivered meaningful competition for the contracts and ensured that value for money is being achieved. 

“There needs to be far more transparency about BT’s costs, take-up rates and roll-out plans to ensure that taxpayers are not being fleeced and so that other broadband suppliers can get on with filling the black spots not being covered by BT.

 “Taxpayers should be deeply concerned that the broadband programme in its current form has seen hundreds of millions of pounds of their money wasted as a result of a centralised, one-size-fits-all scheme for fixed-line only internet connections.

 “It would have been far better to let the private sector – including mobile and satellite providers – compete in an open market in different areas, each with their own communities and needs. 

“Fortunately, a number of private companies and community groups are already addressing the need for internet access in spite of the Government’s bungled programme."

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