BT wins another local rural broadband deal

Fujitsu recently pulled out of the government-backed framework to provide broadband to rural areas

Hampshire County Council is the latest body to award BT a government cash-sponsored rural broadband deal, this time seeing £10 million going into BT's coffers.

BT is the only company left in a framework deal on offer to councils after Fujitsu, the only other remaining supplier left in the framework, pulled out of bidding after saying it could not compete under the terms of many contracts.

As a result of the latest BT win - it has won all the other previous contracts tendered so far across the UK - more than 57,000 business and residential premises in Hampshire are set to benefit from superfast broadband connections to the internet.

Hampshire County Council has signed a contract with BT to build on the existing commercial broadband footprint in the county so that at least 90 percent of all premises will have access to superfast broadband - at least 20mbps - by the end of 2015.

Hampshire County Council together with district and borough partners has invested £5 million in the project and were awarded another £5 million of matching government funds to finance the roll-out.

The first communities to benefit from the project are expected to have access to high-speed broadband by the end of this year, with the programme due to be completed by the end of 2015.

Without the intervention of the Hampshire Broadband Programme, said BT, around 20 percent of premises in Hampshire would not have been able to access fibre broadband services. Therefore it is costing £10 million of taxpayers' cash to increase the superfast broadband reach in the county from 80 percent to 90 percent.

Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "This is a great day for Hampshire and it marks the culmination of many months of hard work. I am very pleased that BT can now start work on putting in the necessary infrastructure that will benefit so many businesses and households, predominantly located in the less populated and harder to reach areas of Hampshire."

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