The government has released £50m of funding for the next wave of rural broadband projects in four counties to help local authorities deliver internet connections to homes and businesses in remote regions.
Wiltshire, Norfolk and a joint bid by Devon and Somerset will receive £4m, £15m and £30m respectively, having been selected from 18 bids for finances from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's £530m broadband fund.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt explained that the latest investment will deliver internet access to consumers and businesses in these counties at speeds comparable to urban areas, and that that more funding will be up for grabs soon.
"Broadband is essential to homes and businesses and it is now only a matter of time before people in these three rural areas have access to connection speeds more commonly associated with towns and cities," he said.
"Other councils will soon have the chance to bid for a nationwide funding programme. This is part of our plan for virtually every community in the UK to have access to superfast broadband."
Local authorities in the selected counties will create tenders for companies to install the relevant infrastructure in partnership with Broadband Delivery UK which will guide them through the process.
Derrick Murphy, leader of Norfolk County Council, which will match the £15m funding from the government, said that homes and businesses in the county must have access to broadband, which is why the council agreed to match the funds upfront.
"The internet is central to virtually every aspect of modern life, and our lack of broadband access has become a key concern for us. We simply could not afford to accept this, which is why we seized the opportunity for funding so firmly," he said.
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