MP calls for watchdog to probe Somerset broadband roll-out
MP Tessa Munt has this week called for an investigation into the
speed of the roll-out of super-fast fibre Internet access across
Somerset, including in the Burnham area.
has asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to look
into BTs refusal to join an open bidding process to deploy
more super-fast fibre Internet access in Somerset amid concern
that the scheme faces delays.
says she's concerned that 100 percent coverage is a distant dream,
and that the 2018 target for 95 percent coverage will not be met.
are now calling for a Westminster debate on the issue and want
the Competition and Markets Authority to look into the decision
to hand the lucrative second phase of the contract to BT.
says she has written to the watchdog overseeing anti-competitive
activity asking it to investigate the process, a move that has
been backed by the powerful Public Accounts Committee. She is
concerned that the roll-out date may slip to 2018.
say the 'secrecy clause' imposed on the first deal means data
on which areas remain without coverage has been kept under wraps.
said: "The biggest problem is getting accurate information
from BT I have been asking for a couple of years about
which parts are not going to get coverage so that people can make
decisions. You cannot just muscle your way around when it is tax
payers' money being spent on something that is now essential
not a luxury. There are vast swathes of Somerset without coverage."
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee this month
criticised the goal to get the fastest internet connections to
95 per cent of premises. The committee said the "hard-to-reach
five per cent" are missing out on speeds enjoyed by homes
and businesses in urban areas.
Connecting Devon and Somerset insists that it remains "firmly
on track". BT says the timescale appeared "tight"
but was still achievable.