Isle of Wight broadband decision delayed header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

The Isle of Wight council has voted to defer its decision on whether to award BT the contract to rollout super-fast broadband on the island. 

It has decided to delay its judgement about whether to make the company responsible for implementing the £3 million plus project by one month. A number of concerns about the scheme were raised, such as cost and a lack of neutral information and competition. 

Councillor Phillip Jordan claimed he has an "enormous amount of reservations" regarding the project and is concerned about how much of the bill would be footed by the council, with BT only expected to meet 24 per cent of the total costs.

Meanwhile, councillor John Medland said he is worried by a potential lack of competition and believes the local authority needs to see more neutral information about the project, as the council is currently basing its decision on what it has been told by BT. 

The issue is set to be discussed again at a meeting in September, meaning local residents will have to wait to learn if and when they stand to receive an improved service.

The £3 million contract set to be awarded by the Isle of Wight council is part of the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative, which aims to bring super-fast broadband to 90 per cent of the UK.

However, the scheme has run into difficulties and is currently set to be completed in 2017, which is two years behind schedule.

Furthermore, the remaining ten per cent of areas will only be guaranteed a minimum connection speed of two Mbps, which is well below the national average for both urban and rural locations. 

An alternative to the BDUK scheme is satellite broadband, which is available immediately and can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps regardless of location. This technology is particularly useful for rural areas where reliable broadband connections are often hard to come by.

Posted by Mark Wynn