BT defends itself following NAO criticism of broadband rollout

In response to a report by the National Audit Office that a government programme to make superfast broadband available to 90 per cent of premises in each area of the UK is expected to be delivered nearly two years later than planned, BT has said that it is not responsible for the delays. reports that BT has claimed its fibre programme “has been one of the most efficient in the world” and its rollout is “faster than industry experts thought possible”.

It has also said that “there was strong competition when prices were set at the start of the process and that has ensured counties have benefited from the best possible terms. Deploying fibre broadband is an expensive long-term business and so it no surprise that others dropped out as the going got tough.

“BT, on the other hand, has stayed the course and invested significant sums in rural Britain even though the payback period in such areas is longer than in the first two thirds of the UK, which has been funded by BT alone.”

BT has said claimed that although it got subsidies, it has committed over £500m towards the programme. Moreover, more than one-third of the contracts have yet to be signed.

We believe we will contribute around 38 per cent of the total funds by the end of the programme, which is well above the 23 per cent claimed in the report,” it has said.

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