“Procurement programmes have always been lengthy and the amount of safeguards built into the systems to avoid abuse/corruption do slow things down. Even though there is just a choice of two operators, the full process has to run its course.
A lot of the problems arise from the compressed timeline, which means the handful of pilot projects are just one step ahead of those local authorities who are more reliant on the BDUK framework. In essence the slightly more informed are leading the blind.
Delays to the programme make it more likely that all projects will be awarded to BT, as their commercial work means they are already up to speed on deployment, whereas Fujitsu will need to scale itself very rapidly.
Fujitsu while it has an extensive fibre network, has only carried out a small scale trial of its BDUK type network.
So yes there is a danger that the 2015 target may slip, but there are other dangers such as weather, hardware supplies, staff levels that could have an even bigger impact on meeting these dates.”
Andrew Ferguson, editor of Thinkbroadband.com