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Broadband delivery chief to meet council leaders

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Concerns about delays to the roll out of superfast broadband are set to be raised when council leaders meet with the government official in charge of delivery.

Broadband Delivery UK chief executive Robert Sullivan is to attend the LGA’s executive this week to discuss progress in providing superfast broadband to at least 90% of UK premises by 2015.

Councils have expressed frustration at delays to the roll out in rural areas which have been blamed on the local planning system but which councillors have argued was more to do with central government’s failure to gain EU approval.

A note to councillors ahead of the meeting said: “The time it took to secure state aid clearance was the real barrier to the rollout – not the local planning system”.

The same delay is now affecting the urban roll out, a knock on effect which “councils are keen to resolve as soon as possible”.

Mr Sullivan is also likely to face questions about how councils can get value for money when there is only one supplier – BT – in rural areas, and objections to government plans to relax planning restrictions on the installation of broadband infrastructure.

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