Fujitsu has dropped its bid to supply two regions under the Broadband Delivery UK programme devised by the government to improve nationwide broadband access. The Japanese company’s withdrawal from the bidding process leaves BT as the sole remaining supplier under the £530 million project.
Cumbria and North Yorkshire were the only areas for which Fujitsu had been vying, but by abandoning its bid, it has left BT as the only supplier.
BT is also the only party bidding for areas such as Wales and Highland & Islands that are not already using the national framework. The company has already won the bid for delivering broadband to Rutland and Lancashire.
“We withdrew from Cumbria because we cannot currently see a clear path towards a mass market that is required to attract leading retail service providers. We continue to monitor the market place and see where we can get this to make sense,” Fujitsu chief executive Duncan Tait told the Financial Times.
“We will look at each on its own merits and see if there is a way to make it work and get to the scale we need for our anchor tenants.”
Fujitsu currently offers home broadband services through a partnership with the Post Office.
But regardless of the company’s motives, the situation will likely intensify the on-going debate about competitiveness in telecoms projects of such a large scale. And rightfully so. With its existing infrastructure and resources, BT has a leg up over the other suppliers originally interested in bidding for the broadband delivery programme.