Three-month delay for government's super-fast broadband plan
The government's super-fast broadband strategy is facing a delay of at least three months.
By 2015, the Conservative-led coalition aims to deliver a national next-generation broadband network covering at least 90 per cent of the UK, with minimum speeds of 2Mbps for the remaining one-tenth of properties.
At the end of last year, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) set a deadline of this December for the completion of the procurement process, but the Financial Times has revealed this target looks set to be missed due to ongoing negotiations with the EU.
European officials are reviewing the Broadband Delivery UK framework amid fears that it infringes rules on state aid, with just two companies - BT and Fujitsu - in the running to land contracts to roll out the next-generation networks.
A DCMS spokesman told the newspaper: "It is therefore unlikely that procurements will be completed by December.
"We are working on completing the procurements as rapidly as possible on the basis that the process started three months later than originally planned."
The admission comes just days after a report from the House of Lords Communications Committee warned that the broadband strategy risks leaving some UK communities behind.