BBC News are reporting that incumbent high speed broadband providers BT and Virgin Media have launched a legal challenge to Birmingham City Council’s proposed independant Superfast Broadband Network.
The city has successfully applied for EU state aid to build network into underserved areas of the city, aligned with the Council’s regeneration plans for those areas. Virgin contest that it is “overbuilding” on their existing network footprint, and as such is unnecessary, effectively using EU subsidy to attack their revenue stream.
Broadband campaigner Chris Conder, one of the people behind the B4RN project, says that this is a case of VM and BT trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted.
It’s going to be an interesting and important test case.