Government rural broadband plans 'are a train crash' header image

The government's plans to improve rural broadband are set to be criticised by the National Audit Office (NAO). 

In a report that is due for release in July, the organisation is expected to raise doubts about whether the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme provides value for UK taxpayers' money. 

An anonymous source told the Financial Times the plans are seen as a "train crash waiting to happen" and the train is "accelerating rather than slowing down". 

The BDUK scheme aims to bring super-fast broadband to 90 per cent of UK households and to provide the remaining ten per cent with a connection speed of at least two Mbps. It has received around £530 million in taxpayers' money to make this happen. 

However, a number of concerns have been raised about the project, such as a lack of competition and doubts about whether it will fulfil its goals on schedule. 

The scheme allows internet service providers to bid for government funding to roll out super-fast broadband in a particular area. BT and Fujitsu were the only two companies approved to enter the bidding process, but the latter failed to win any of the contracts on offer and has since had to withdraw. 

This means BT has won all of the funding provided by the BDUK to date and this had raised concerns about whether it is damaging competition in the broadband market. 

Furthermore, the rollout of super-fast services was scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015, but reports have suggested that some projects will now carry on into 2016.

If you live in a rural area and would like to benefit from the advantages of a fast and reliable internet connection, waiting for the government rollout is not the only option. 

Satellite broadband can provide super-fast speeds of 20 Mbps and is available immediately. Unlike other internet services, it does not require the laying of underground cables or installation of phone masts, making it ideal for households in the countryside.