UK broadband rollout delayed by EU investigation
The government's universal broadband rollout plans have been put on hold while the European Commission assesses the strategy on competition grounds.
Under the Broadband Delivery UK process, the coalition has pledged to deliver the best super-fast broadband in Europe by 2015.
BT and Fujitsu have been chosen as the approved providers to bid for the publicly subsidised broadband contracts that will be awarded by each English county.
However, according to the Guardian, EU officials have delayed work on the project by six months over concerns it is not competitive enough.
This is despite the fact that the government spent almost £3 million on consultants to help civil servants select the best companies to deliver the infrastructure improvements.
A spokeswoman from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport confirmed to the newspaper that no work would begin until approval has been received from Brussels.
"This is an EU issue as the Commission is developing rules that need to work across Europe," a BT spokesman added.
The news comes in the same week that the Country Land and Business Association warned slow funding processes and a reliance on fibre optic technology mean the government risks missing its broadband targets.