Why has it taken so long to re-tender this contract?
New broadband contracts were held until the end of May because they had to receive fresh approval from the EU through BDUK; this was not granted until May 2016. Over the past 12 months the CDS team has worked closely with BDUK to support their work to agree a new National Broadband Scheme with the EU. During this period the CDS team has also worked very hard to engage with the market and develop an ITT that is both attractive to suppliers, meets the need of our rural communities and ensures value for money to the taxpayer. We have pushed infrastructure providers such as BT and Virgin and new entrants Truespeed, Airband, Wessex Internet and Gigaclear to provide us with the necessary information to identify areas where the market will not be investing. It was important to make sure the ITT was right to enable competition and choice to the end consumer and all of this has taken time.