Simon Blagden CBE confirmed as new Chair of Building Digital UK

Simon Blagden CBE has been appointed by Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries to chair Building Digital UK (BDUK) - the agency in charge of delivering the government’s roll out of faster broadband and mobile coverage across the UK

Building Digital UK. Delivering fast, reliable connectivity across the UK

Simon has 30 years’ experience in the IT, telecoms and digital industry. For 14 years he was non-executive Chairman at Fujitsu Telecommunications UK.

The new role will place him at the helm of the executive agency overseeing Project Gigabit, the biggest broadband roll out in British history backed with a record £5 billion to connect hard-to-reach areas across the UK, as well as the £1 billion Shared Rural Network which will dial up 4G phone signal rural areas.

In 2000 he joined Spescom, a specialist business communications technology group based in Johannesburg, as CEO to lead its international telecoms and IT business. He continues to serve as non-executive Chairman of management consultancy Larkspur International. In 2016, he was awarded a CBE for services to the economy.

He will step down as Chair of the Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification (TSCD) Advisory Council, a position he has held since last year. The Advisory Council is a non-statutory advisory committee of independent members set up to provide advice to the government on measures to build a more diverse, innovative and secure telecoms supply chain.

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

“ BDUK is critical to rolling out the lightning-fast broadband and mobile coverage needed to improve lives and drive productivity across the UK. Simon will be an extremely capable chair of BDUK thanks to his deep understanding of telecoms and wide breadth of experience in the sector.

“ He will lead the team delivering the country’s biggest digital connectivity projects, including our £5 billion investment in Project Gigabit and the £1 billion Shared Rural Network.”

Chair of BDUK, Simon Blagden CBE, said:

“ I’m pleased to be taking on the role as Chair of BDUK at this exciting time for the telecoms sector. I am determined to use my experience gained through more than 30 years in the industry to maximise BDUK’s potential and to advance the pace and ambition of our delivery.

“ Communities from Perth in Scotland to Padstow in Cornwall are already benefiting from gigabit-capable connections to their homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and libraries. My priority will be for BDUK to build on these foundations and deliver the digital infrastructure that is vital for people, communities and businesses across the UK.”

Building Digital UK
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP