Fibre-optic solutions provider Geo Networks has pulled out of the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) tender process after raising a number of concerns.
The firm, which is driving the FibreSpeed next-generation access project in North Wales, feels the current gap-funded subsidy model being adopted automatically favours BT.
As the incumbent and dominant telecoms network owner in many regions, Geo Networks said BT has the security and knowledge of revenue streams on its current network.
"Secondly, the absence of any opportunity provided in the current procurements either to underwrite any take-up risk or to guarantee public sector revenues – for example under a Public Private Partnership model – removes the ability for us to share this with the public sector," said the firm's Chief Executive Officer Chris Smedley. "And finally, the uncertainty around the terms and pricing for physical infrastructure access, and the heavy restrictions as to what we can use it for means that, in our view, this market is not contestable."
A BT Spokesperson described Geo Networks' departure as "disappointing" but "hardly a surprise given fibre deployment requires a high degree of commitment and expertise".
He claimed that BT, Ofcom and Broadband Delivery UK continue to make good progress on the nationwide rollout of high-speed broadband.