Despite the liquidation crisis construction company Carillion is facing, the government has vowed superfast broadband plans will not be hugely affected.
After the announcement on Monday that Carillion is heading into liquidation, the company is expected to offload its public sector contracts to other partner firms working on the projects or send them back in-house to the government.
The latest project in discussion is the rollout of superfast broadband across the UK and the impact Carillion’s liquidation could have on this. The construction company holds a 60% stake in a joint venture with telecoms and network services company Telent providing the rollout venture.
Under the agreement terms of the joint venture and ‘in the event of insolvency,’ the legal structure of the agreement gives Telent the right to take full ownership of the venture. This allows clients, employees and firms that subcontract work through the agreement to continue working and the rollout of the project to be completed.
The workers involved in the Carillion Joint Venture (CtJV) that are not employed by telent at present will be transferred to the company as a result of Carillion’s liquidation, ensuring that all jobs are secure as well as the project deployment.
Plato said: “Given our technical know-how, proven experience and financial strength, we will continue to successfully operate the CtJV activity. We have initiated implementation of our contingency plans this morning to ensure a smooth transition and are maintaining open communications with customers, workers and subcontractors.”
The government has been long promising the rollout of superfast broadband across the country, with Hammond outlining in his budget the importance of the technology by pledging £500m to invest in 5G and full fibre broadband. After the news of Carillion it came with some concern that the vision the government has had will not ring true as soon as it was hoped to.
Despite the worries, telent and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have squashed concerns. A spokesperson for DCMS has said: “We have been advised by contractors that any impact on the Broadband Delivery UK rollout of superfast broadband is likely to be minimal.”
The government is yet to confirm the state of other projects Carillion has won contracts for, including the latest high-speed rail deployment after the state the company is now in.