Cumbria council has rejected bids from both BT and Fujitsu offering to provide broadband services in the region in a setback to government plans to provide high-speed internet services to the entire nation.
The county was named as a pilot area for the first wave of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) projects in 2011 and subsequently received £17m in funding from the government's £530m pot.
Both BT and Fujitsu submitted tenders bidding for the funding to rollout services in the region but, according to the BBC both, were rejected.
V3 contacted Cumbria County Council for comment on its decision but had received no reply at time of publication.
BT said it would attempt to find an offer that would meet the council's approval.
"We will continue to work with the authority to try and secure what is a highly contested tender," a spokesperson told V3.
Fujitsu said it was surprised at the decision and would now consider its position.
“This is an unexpected outcome, and we are currently reviewing our options. We remain focused on this and other next-generation broadband projects.”
The government will be concerned the rollout has stalled in such a large and remote region as its aims to create "the best broadband network in Europe" by 2015.
It wants to do this by ensuring 90 per cent of homes and businesses can access 25Mbit/s services or above by this time.
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