Laura Sharman 08 January 2021

Spending watchdog highlights 'litany of failures' on superfast broadband

Spending watchdog highlights litany of failures on superfast broadband image

A 'litany’ of failures by the Government will leave rural homes and businesses without superfast broadband, MPs have warned today.

A new report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) argues the government’s pledge to deliver gigabit broadband to at least 85% of the nation by 2025 will be ‘challenging’ due to a catalogue of failures.

It said that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has failed to make meaningful progress in delivering the policy and legislative changes needed, amongst other problems.

PAC also said DCMS was unable to tell the committee when it intends to deliver major milestones such as the letting of contracts.

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hillier, said: ‘With the grim announcement that the country and economy will be locked down for months, the Government’s promises on digital connectivity are more important than ever.

’But due to a litany of planning and implementation failures at DCMS, those promises are slipping farther and farther out of reach - even worse news for the “rural excluded” who face years trying to recover with substandard internet connectivity.’

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, digital connectivity spokesperson at the Local Government Association (LGA), said: 'The Government’s downgrading of its 100% coverage target was disappointing and we urge it to set out as soon as possible its revised timeline for delivering universal gigabit-capable broadband coverage. This is particularly important for rural areas, many of which are already struggling to access superfast speeds.

'Councils are committed to working closely with the Government to help deliver on its nationwide gigabit-broadband and mobile coverage ambitions. We are pleased the Committee has backed our call for councils to have the funding they need to play a role accelerating and co-ordinating local broadband delivery.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Social Worker - Supporting NQSW's

Essex County Council
£40637 - £49183 per annum + + 26 days leave & Local Gov Pension
Senior Practitioner - Supporting NQSW'sPermanent, Full Time£40,637 to £49,183 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Communications Manager - Essex Safeguarding Adult Board

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Senior Communications Manager - Essex Safeguarding Adult BoardFixed Term, Part TimeUp to £36,057 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Business Support Manager - Learning & Early Support

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£25,481 - £27,041
You will be expected to manage a team and the workloads of Business Support Officers. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Business Support Officer - Catering

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,312 - £19,698 per annum
This job is Temporary for up to 12 months to cover operational needs. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Social Worker/Senior Practitioner - Duty & Advice (37 hours)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
This is an exciting time to be part of this team where we are building our multi -agency team working closely with... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue