A leaked document from the BDUK has set the cat among the pigeons, as it suggests BT has been fiddling rural broadband roll-out numbers to siphon off more cash from taxpayer funds.
A suggestion which has been flatly denied by the telecoms giant.
The whole affair has certainly inflamed corners of the Internet, naturally enough, and indeed the author of the BDUK document has allegedly been given the push by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (headed up by new Culture Secretary Maria Miller), the Register reports.
Whitehall, however, refused to comment on the matter, saying they don’t discuss staffing issues.
The leaked doc apparently centres around the issue of BT artificially pumping up deployment costs when it comes to hooking up rural exchanges, in order to snaffle more funds for its coffers.
The Telegraph article (which the Register highlighted) states that the leaked document suggests it costs BT £11,689 to install a broadband box, before “group costs”, but that the amount BT was actually charging is far more than this, and based on “pseudo” wholesale costs.
BT is apparently charging £17,000 for rural areas, but up to £30,000 for an installation in the most remote parts of the countryside.
As we’ve already mentioned, BT denied this, and issued a statement to say: “BT is winning competitive BDUK tenders precisely because it is committing extra funds to improve broadband access. These funds are in addition to our commercial investment of £2.5bn and so it is ludicrous to suggest that we are trying to pass on the full cost of deployment to our public sector partners.”