Homes to benefit from controversial rural broadband scheme (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Homes to benefit from controversial rural broadband scheme
Thousands of homes which suffer from a poor internet connection are set to have the problems solved under a controversial government scheme.
It is estimated that houses in more remote areas such as Nazeing and Roydon, which constitute 12 per cent of homes in Epping Forest, are unable to access an efficient service.
Affected homes in Epping Forest are set to get a broadband connection this time next year, Essex County Council has announced.
Providers claimed there was little profit in providing high speed internet connections in rural areas, so the government and local authorities offered subsidises to companies to do so.
BT was the only company to complete the bidding process for the £1.2bn scheme.
Parliament’s spending watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee PAC, has said the government has failed to ensure taxpayers have got value for money by creating strong competition for contracts.
It also claims BT was given over-generous terms and costs were not properly assessed, leading to the taxpayer being “ripped off”.
The government has defended the scheme, saying BT is contributing to a third of the costs.
BT said PAC was “simply wrong”, adding it had accepted terms “drove others away”.
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