Published: 29th Mar 2017
The Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) has expressed its support for the Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) criticism of the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project.
It said it "wholeheartedly agrees" with the PAC's opinion that BT has been allowed to establish a monopoly through the government project and public money is not being spent as efficiently as it could be.
An INCA statement read: "There has been zero competition for the £1.2bn of public funding despite evidence that independent providers can often deliver better services, more cost-effectively than BT."
It called for the government and local councils to ensure there is real competition for the additional £250 million of funding that is set to be released to improve the UK's connectivity.
"Simply providing the additional cash to BT is not a good option and is likely to lead to challenges under the state aid rules. This will result in further delays to a programme that is already two years behind schedule," INCA stated.
It added that allowing BT to use state funding to undermine alternative broadband providers would have a negative impact on the UK's rural communities and the country as a whole.
The PAC's comments have also been supported by Christine Conder of the Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) group. She told cable.co.uk the organisation's comments echo what groups such as B4RN have been saying for a number of years.
Ms Conder said she hopes the PAC's criticisms will lead to action being taken to bring about a more competitive broadband situation.
Last month INCA revealed it has launched a new scheme that allows people to register broadband 'not-spots', which are areas that are poorly served by the major internet service providers.
The organisation wants to collect this information so providers of alternative broadband technology, such as Avonline, can bring their solutions to these areas. Indeed satellite broadband is ideally suited to this task as it can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps regardless of location.
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