BT has a veto on RCBF rural broadband projects
BT is determined not to allow competition in rural areas. That’s why the speed and coverage details of their NGA contracts are kept under non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and why would-be RCBF-funded community networks in the Final 10% are not allowed to see them.
This is clear from BDUK’s guidance to local authorities who may have eligible RCBF projects in their area.
In addition BT is permitted to do an impact assessment on RCBF projects, and hence holds an effective veto on them. Or it can use its own taxpayer-funded roll-out to ‘white-ant’ the projects’ coverage areas, making sure it will be hard or impossible for the projects to attract enough subscribers to be viable.
Will the NAO enquiry at least glance at this situation? I’m hoping DCMS will reply to my FOIA question on it in time to do some good.
It seems an awful lot of trouble to go to over £20m, but it demonstrates BT’s attention to detail.