BT has announced an £8.06m deal to bring superfast broadband to remote regions in Berkshire. The deal is just one of many announced by BT this year and will see the firm stump up £4m for the rollout. A further £2.03m is coming from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework.
The council will deliver a final £2.03m in order to bring superfast broadband to 18,000 additional premises by September 2015. To date more than 10,000 residents and businesses in the area have already registered interest in receiving the service.
Councillor David Burbage said signing the deal was a vital step forward to help improve the region's economic potential. “For many people living and working in rural areas, this is an important day,” he said.
“It gives them confidence that more 21st-century technology is within reach and that they will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of faster access to the internet.”
Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: “By September 2015, thousands more Berkshire homes and businesses will have access to superfast speeds, and all the benefits that it offers.
“The UK already does more business online than any other European country and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to Berkshire’s economy.”
The announcement comes amid ongoing criticism of the BDUK programme's setup. Both the National Audit Office (NAO) and more recently the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) slammed the government for failing to generate value for money or competition for the rural broadband deals that BT has signed across the country so far.
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