closedownarrowexternal-linklogo-verticalmenu-barsearch Skip to main content
Jump to navigation
BT news

BT has been criticised by MPs for "vastly overestimating" the cost of delivering super-fast broadband to parts of rural Britain.

After the National Audit Office (NAO) reported that the ongoing fibre rollout will cost at least £92 million less than BT's original projection, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has raised concerns.

Speaking to the BBC, Margaret Hodge, Chair of the PAC, said it was worrying that the figures "do not stack up" with what BT told the committee in 2013.

Lady Hodge, the Labour MP for Barking, said it is "very concerning that it looks like BT could have abused its dominant position in the market by vastly overestimating forecast costs" when it made its original bid.

She said the PAC also has "broader concerns" about whether the broadband infrastructure deal agreed by the government with BT represents value for money.

In response, BT said the initial estimate was based on its view of how much it would cost to deploy fibre in rural areas.

"We have come in under-budget in several areas, which is good news for the taxpayer as we only charge for the costs we incur, not those we first forecast," a spokesperson stated.

"The savings can now be reinvested to take fibre to additional areas."

The BT representative said the suggestion it inflated those costs is "bizarre", as by doing so the firm would have hindered its chances of winning the contract.

"The NAO report this week confirmed our costs were 20 per cent below those others would have charged in a sample area, so we are clearly delivering excellent value for money," the spokesperson added.

This is not the first time the PAC has raised concerns about the government-funded rollout of fibre broadband in rural parts of the UK.

Back in September 2013, the committee accused the government of mismanaging the project by awarding all the infrastructure contracts to BT.

It claimed BT had exploited a "quasi-monopoly position" as the UK's largest broadband provider to secure the work.

Join the conversation

comments powered by Disqus

Stay up to date

  • Google+ Follow uSwitchTech
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed

Latest Comments

Search news