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The Culture Secretary is targeting reforms for the government's rural broadband rollout, following a report criticising the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Maria Miller wants civil servants to be stripped of responsibility for the scheme, with industry specialists brought in to ensure the delivery of high-speed broadband in 'the final mile' of the UK.

According to the Financial Times, she has concluded that radical changes are needed to ensure the success of the government-funded infrastructure project.

Ms Miller's decision comes following a damning internal report from Gerry Pennell, the former Chief Information Officer for the London Olympics.

The paper echoed the telecoms industry's concerns over the cost of the UK's rural broadband rollout, and also its complexity.

The BDUK mechanism has faced derision in some quarters, particularly after BT emerged as the sole remaining bidder in the tender process.

Fujitsu was originally named as an approved bidder but later withdrew from the running, citing "various conditions surrounding the BDUK process".

The Financial Times reports Ms Miller wants to "spin off" BDUK, in order to take advantage of technology expertise within the private sector.

She believes increased broadband provider involvement could generate the additional funds the programme needs to deliver fibre services in the final ten per cent of the UK.

The news provider says Ms Miller has asked Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, to examine BDUK's structure as a precursor to a potential overhaul.

Last year, it was reported that the government had spent £10 million on 70 external consultants to design and manage the BDUK bidding and rollout process.

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