Who advised BDUK on qualifications for its Final Third procurement?
I have put in a Freedom of Information Act request for the advice that Broadband Delivery UK received in the drafting of the preliminary qualification questionnaire for companies that wish to be considered as one of 12 possible suppliers included in BDUK’s Final Third broadband procurement framework.
You can follow the progress of the request here.
The qualification thresholds for primary contractors are widely regarded as limiting the choice of supplier to very few, and limiting the potential involvement of community network operators and local investors.
Malcolm Corbett, CEO of the Independent Community Networks Association, regards the PQQ as a repudiation of the government’s Big Society policy, in which local people are encouraged and even expected to develop local solutions to local problems.
There is also controversy over the apparent easing of the accepted definition of “superfast” from above 24Mbps download speed to above 15Mbps.This will make it easier for the winning suppliers, and hence the government, to declare “victory” by the time the 2015 elections are due.
On the upside there does appear to be a requirement that the minimum acceptable download speed is 2Mbps.