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National Audit Office to investigate rural broadband scheme value

The National Audit Office (NAO) is to look at the government’s rural broadband scheme to find out if it offers taxpayers “assured value for money”.

The half billion pound project is run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and BDUK. The aim of the project is to give Britain “the best broadband in Europe” and speeds of at least 2Mbps throughout the UK and fibre optic connectivity to 90 per cent of the population.

The NAO did not divulge why it had started the investigation.

Credit: Wikipedia
The National Audit Office is committed to ensuring public money is spent well

Read Recombu Digital’s report on Rural Broadband in the UK“This report [will] examine how well the department has designed the rural broadband programme and the extent to which its safeguards assure value for money,” it said in a statement.

“It also considers whether the 2015 targets for rural broadband provision are likely to be met.”

A spokeswoman told tech publication Computer Weekly that the report would be published by the end of the summer, although no firm date has been set.

The government’s rural broadband commitments also include a separate £20m pot from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Rural Community Broadband Fund is aimed at connecting the 10 per cent of the British population in the hardest-to-reach areas through smaller projects than the county-wide BDUK rollouts.

The deadline for RCBF finding applications was recently extended to June 17, having originally been set for late May.

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