National Audit Office to probe BT's dominance in government rural broadband plans

A £530 million spend by the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) on rural broadband rollout could be damned by the National Audit Office (NAO) on account of the investment process lacking "transparency and competition."

Multiple sources familiar with the matter indicate that a report by the NAO into the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme will be put under the microscope due to the "significant amount of public money" involved and concerns over the lack of bidders.

An anonymous source has dubbed the process, which saw BT emerge as the last party standing, a "train wreck." Fujitsu withdrew its bid in July 2012, leaving only BT in a position to gain access to contracts with over 40 local authorities for the rollout of super-fast broadband networks across the UK.

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It is thought that BT is now set to appear before an NAO-led committee in July of this year, as the investigation into why only one party contested such a lucrative set of commissions gathers pace.

In response to criticisms, BT insisted that it was "delivering value for money," while the DCMS added: "The government is absolutely confident that our programme will deliver projects that are real value for money and result in a transformation of broadband in the UK by 2015."

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