Today sees the results of my second big initiative when I became Leader.
It was clear to me that not having broadband fit for purpose just a few miles out of Cambridge is a complete nonsense. We took a decision at one of my early Cabinets to proceed as quickly as possible with getting broadband into Cambridgeshire.
We chose to work outside of the government BDUK framework contract as it looked as if it would slow us down, and we were right. We have been able to run a robust competition right to the end.
Today is the day that we award the contract at a special Cabinet. A great day.
Were there any other tenders other than BT? Will be BT be offering a subsidy on their standard pricing to reflect the £20m of public money going into this?
Yes, we ran a competitive process and had a number of bidders right to the end of the process.
The money we are putting in is to provide the infrastructure in areas that the commercial market would not service. BT will then have to allow other broadband providers to use this infrastructure as they do elsewhere.
Competition will drive the price but it must be noted that we have one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world.
Good to see it moving forward. How many tenders were left standing at the final fence, and who were they from ?
In the interests of openness the public would like to be assured that BT won against credible competition.