BT has secured two more broadband rollout deals worth a total of £45m, after it signed deals with councils in Oxfordshire and Worcestershire.
The Oxfordshire deal is worth £25m, and will see funding of £10m from the local council, £4m from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and £11m from BT ploughed into the project.
This will be used to reach 67,000 additional premises with superfast broadband services of up to 80Mbps by 2015.
Councillor Nick Carter, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for business and customer services, said the rollout was a vital boost for ensuring the county remained economically competitive.
“Broadband is now seen almost as a utility like water or electricity, yet there are still areas where access is non-existent or far too slow. However, everyone in the project area will soon benefit from this major investment,” he said.
“Oxfordshire is the most rural county in the South East, so we have had to be pragmatic in trying to extend the social and economic benefits of broadband to as many homes and businesses as possible.”
The second deal, struck with Worcestershire Council, is worth £20m, and is set to reach 55,000 properties. BT is stumping up £8.9m while the council is putting forward £8.5m. Another £3.35m will come from BDUK.
The council said it would play a vital part in its 'Open for Business' initiative in order to encourage investment in the region.
The deals come after recent controversy over the rural broadband funding process, with BT accused of failing to provide transparency on rollouts and costs to rivals and councils, with some accusing it of behaving like a "vampire death squid".
The government and BT agreed to allow local councils to reveal their rollout locations, in order to allow smaller, local players to fill in the remaining gaps that even the rural rollout projects will not reach.
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