News from Tim Farron MP
14 June 2012
CUMBRIAN MP’S DISSAPOINTMENT AT COUNTY COUNCIL BROADBAND FAILURE
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has expressed his disappointment at the failure of Cumbria County Council to attract a viable bidder to roll out the county’s planned super-fast broadband network.
It was anticipated that today’s County Council cabinet meeting would award the contract to supply superfast broadband across Cumbria to either BT or Fujitsu. Instead the cabinet have decided that neither contract is sufficient and have decided to talk to the bidders further.
Back in the autumn of 2010, the Government announced that Cumbria had been picked as one of four rural pilot areas eligible for a multi-million pound fund to help bring superfast broadband to rural areas. Since then the county council has been going through a tendering and preparatory process to try and award the contract. This was widely expected to have been done today.
However, it is believed that Fujistu submitted an incomplete bid, thus rendering their application void by default and that BT’s bid could not deliver the required level of service needed to allow Cumbria to catch up with other parts of the country which already have super-fast broadband.
Tim Farron was a key member of the team that helped secure the original £23.8 million funding from the Government and BDUK to roll out of the broadband scheme. He has previously raised concerns about the project’s progress, calling on the County Council to make sure that the broadband rollout project does not become a ‘White Elephant’ and that Cumbria gets the superfast broadband it needs.
Tim said: “This process has been going on for 18 months now and it’s appalling that we’ve not been able to move any further. Securing the modern infrastructure our county needs should be one of the council’s top priorities.”
“I want to see the county council supporting community schemes which are ready to be rolled out, such as Fibre Garden in Garsdale and Dentdale. This would help to get things moving whilst we continue to work to bring super-fast broadband to the whole of Cumbria. I am happy to help the county council engage with the Government, to make sure that we can finally make the progress we all want to see.”