EU set to approve BDUK super-fast broadband strategy
EU officials look set to rubber-stamp the UK's multimillion-pound super-fast broadband strategy after investigating the plans on competition grounds.
Approval is needed for work to get underway on the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework, which aims to extend next-generation broadband to 90 per cent of the country by the end of 2015.
According to the Financial Times, European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has suggested he is happy for the initiative to be backed by state funding, provided some "relatively minor changes" are made to the scheme's design.
The EU had been looking into whether the BDUK strategy infringes European rules on state aid, as only two providers - BT and Fujitsu - are permitted to bid for funds.
Other commissioners still need to give the scheme the green light, meaning any official announcement is likely to be delayed until later in the month, but sources close to the talks claimed final approval is now a formality.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport commented: "It is our understanding that the commission is on track to issue its final decision in late October or early November, which will allow projects to get underway."