Following the broadband money

And then there were two

with 6 comments

Unconfirmed reports suggest that BT and Fujitsu Telecom are the only suppliers left from nine in BDUK’s framework process for funnelling £530m into the market for high speed broadband access in rural areas.

Cable & Wireless Worldwide, believed to the most recent to quit the process, is deeply in debt and a take-over target for mobile operator Vodafone and India-based Tata Communications.

Dark fibre network operator Geo Networks quit the game in November saying the price for access to BT’s pipes and ducts (PIA) inhibited the development of a competitive network landscape.

Vtesse Networks, which has provided fibre to cabinets in a couple of small Hertfordshire villages, withdrew in mid-2011. In written evidence to the House of Lords communication committee, which is investigating the UK’s efforts to develop “Broadband Britain”, Vtesse said, “The regulatory and fiscal barriers we identified in 2009 still remain. As a result of these, we have decided not to proceed with further roll-out of residential services, and no longer engage with BDUK.”

Fujitsu, which has tested BT’s PIA product, earlier strongly condemned BT’s initial pricing of the product. With Virgin Media and TalkTalk it wrote to Ofcom, saying the PIA price  was five times higher than cost. BT then made modest changes to the price but introduced other fees.

The original nine on BDUK’s long list, which BDUK expected to cut to six, are BT, Fujitsu Telecom, Network Rail, Capita, BeyondDSL, Parsons Brinkershoff (Balfour Beatty, ALU and Cable&Wireless Worldwide), Kcom, Thales and Geo.


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2012/03/27 at 22:48

6 Responses

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  1. It’s technically been just BT and Fujitsu for awhile as the rest couldn’t really best BTs offer, especially when the national telco holds so many cards that the others aren’t allowed to even see. Meanwhile Fujitsu has spent most of its time pulling out of areas while saying that the costs didn’t work.

    It will probably end up being big news if Fujitsu wins even one county contract, which in reality would be very poor. If they do win anything then it will be in England and not Wales, Scotland or NI because there are maybe a handful of counties where their economics might work but that’s assuming BT doesn’t respond and suddenly upgrade the related areas first to make Fujitsu’s model flop.

    I hope they prove such fears wrong but everybody has been sceptical of Fujitsu’s model since it first surfaced. You can’t easily walk into the market out of nowhere and ask for £500m.

  2. Robert Ling’s (BDUK) presentation slides ( from the Next Gen event last week in York suggests there are three suppliers left – BT, Fujitsu and the Final Third (consortium). Does anyone know which companies are involved in the Final Third consortium?


    2012/04/02 at 13:34

  3. […] access, which was meant to deliver at least six bidders for the taxpayers’ £530m, has delivered only two, BT and Fujitsu. In practice, it appears that the odds are stacked in BT’s favour, and […]

  4. […] framework process, which governs the £830m. The nine firms invited to pitch for the business resulted in two  suppliers – BT and Fujitsu – hardly a rampantly competitive […]

  5. […] troubles are believed to relate to a failed project at the NHS, the blacklisting completes the humiliating BDUK framework procurement process for which it paid almost £3m to consultants at KPMG and Pinsent […]

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