Cumbria is the region leading the charge in the implementation of superfast broadband to rural areas using government funding via BDUK.
Cumbria has just rejected the bids made by BT and Fujitsu and asked them to retwrite the proposals. Neither bid apparently met the criteria laid down by the Cumbrian authorities.
This should be noted with concern by other Local Authorities around the country, all of whom are trying to get to grips with how to spend the government money in their own areas. The reason for the concern is that the model for how much the rollout should cost, and therefore the amount of money apportioned to each area was developed by BDUK using a subcontractor.
If this model turns out to be wrong then we could be facing the “Cumbrian” situation in every county. Delays and shortfalls in meeting targets are bad news all round.
The BBC coverage on the Cumbrian broadband situation is here.
You should also follow Ian Grant’s coverage here – he is very close to this stuff.