Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd August 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the delivery of the Local Full Fibre Networks programme is on track to meet the March 2021 deadline.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The majority of LFFN projects are on track to meet the March 2021 deadline but there are 15 projects which have had their deadlines extended beyond March 2021.

These projects experienced a number of delays, mainly in the procurement phase, but also where suppliers have been delayed in delivering against contractual targets. This resulted in the 15 projects running behind schedule. Without a funding extension, there was a risk that not all of the allocated funding could be drawn before the original March 2021 deadline.

Building Digital UK (BDUK) put forward a proposal to HM Treasury recommending an extension to the timeline rather than de-scoping public building fibre upgrades. HM Treasury agreed to this request, and BDUK now expects to complete all of these remaining projects by December 2021.

BDUK continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on their delivery projects and have undertaken scenario planning activity in line with Cabinet Office guidelines

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