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BT has announced it has won yet another broadband rollout contract from authorities in the UK, this time with Herefordshire and Gloucestershire councils signing a joint agreement worth almost £60m.
The deal will see BT ensure that all homes and businesses in the two counties can access minimum of 2Mbit/s with 24Mbit/s and above available for all who want it by 2018.
The full value of the contract is worth £56.6m and will see BT invest the largest chunk, £20.9m. A further £18.17m will come from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, along with £10.1 million from Herefordshire Council and £7.5m from Gloucestershire County Council.
The economic benefits of the rollout was touted by council chiefs from both districts.
"This project will really put the county on the map, attracting more businesses to the county, helping existing ones grow and enabling rural properties become less isolated," said Herefordshire council leader, John Jarvis.
Gloucestershire County Council leader, Mark Hawthorne echoed this sentiment. "This deal enables us to put in place an infrastructure to support growing businesses and help people live where they want to live."
BT will now begin the process of evaluating how best to reach all 140,000 premises across the two counties, to get as many people connected as quickly as possible.
The firm is hoping to make fast progress with many of these rollouts now that BDUK funding has been freed up after the process and £530m in funding was approved by the European Commission in November.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.