Only nine out of 44 local projects to roll out superfast broadbands to rural area will be completed by May 2015, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (release).
The delay is partly because gaining approval for the project under EU State aid rules took six months longer than expected. In June 2013, the government revised its target, and now aims to secure delivery of the rural broadband programme by December 2016, as well as 95 per cent superfast coverage by 2017.
Dominique Lazanski of the TaxPayers' Alliance commented on the report:
The auditors reveal that the scheme has cost £1.2 billion and there is little evidence that taxpayers have got value for their money. It is an extraordinary waste at a time when there is enormous pressure on people's budgets. The problems have been clear since 2010: there is just no need for the government to fund any Internet infrastructure program that only guarantees 2mpbs connections when we are seeing increased competition in fixed line, mobile and satellite Internet access in the UK. If programme funds have not been distributed yet, as a response to a recent Freedom of Information request suggests, the government should stop wasting our money now, before it is too late.