BDUK chief says UK 'lucky' to have two bidders for broadband contracts
The government should count itself lucky that both BT and Fujitsu are bidding for public super-fast broadband contracts, according to the chief executive of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
Dr Robert Sullivan admitted it was tough for BDUK - the body tasked by the government with delivering its broadband policy - to reach a point where two communications firms were part of the framework, reports Total Telecom.
Speaking to attendees at a Westminster eForum event, Dr Sullivan said: "The investment case for rural broadband networks is incredibly challenging. We can't force the private sector to invest billions of pounds in new networks."
Nine companies were originally in the running for the public broadband contracts, but seven dropped out, sparking concern that the process is not competitive enough.
As a result, the EU is currently examining the BDUK process and is yet to approve the strategy, on the grounds that it may infringe European rules on state aid.
Fujitsu has already scrapped tenders in two regions - Cumbria and Wales - after claiming it would be too difficult to attract commercial internet service providers to make use of the resulting broadband network in these areas.