More NewsSouth Yorkshire broadband project faces challenges

South Yorkshire broadband project faces challenges

A joint broadband project between Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley councils has led to millions of pounds of liabilities owing to a lack of customer interest.

It is a scheme which nobody in their right mind would have entered into

A joint broadband project between Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley councils has led to millions in pounds of liabilities owing to a lack of customer interest. The superfast network was launched in 2010 but the project only reached 80% of the region. The councils are considering shifting the project to the private sector, and a French firm has been selected as a preferred bidder. This move is dependent on receiving EU approval, and if this is not received the project is expected to close.

The Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “It is a scheme which nobody in their right mind would have entered into,” he said. “The council leaders involved thought they were businessmen, but the way the project has gone proves they wouldn’t know how to run a whelk stall. So far in Doncaster it is £10m down the pan, when we need every penny we can get. Since I was elected in 2009, the project has been like having a nail in your shoe. It is appalling, and I cannot understand why my predecessors entered into this idiotic arrangement.”

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