from the surprise,-surprise dept.
The rapid roll-out of gigabit broadband throughout the UK is a source of pride for the UK government, indeed singled out by prime minister Boris Johnson as one of his personal triumphs, but a report from the UK parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is doubting whether the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will meet even its downgraded target to roll out super-fast, gigabit broadband to 85% of the UK by 2025.
Furthermore, the PAC warns that despite the progress that has been made in taking full-fibre across the country, energising the altnet provider industry, the DCMS is relying too heavily on commercial contractors for the progress that has been made.
[...] However, by November 2020, the UK government began backtracking on its ambitious targets. When announcing his Spending Review in late November 2020, Sunak rowed back, reducing the original commitment to provide £5bn of public funding for hard-to-reach areas that have been traditionally badly served by broadband providers.
[...] The PAC said then that it appeared "clear that government's 2019 election pledge to deliver nationwide gigabit broadband connectivity by 2025 was unachievable", noting the UK government has committed less than a quarter of the £5bn funding needed to support roll-out to the hardest-to-reach 20% of premises. It slammed what it called a "litany" of UK government failures in gigabit broadband roll-out. In 2020, the DCMS accepted its original plan for delivering nationwide gigabit broadband across the country by 2025 was unachievable and revised that target down to 85% coverage by 2025.