Telecoms giant chosen to deploy superfast broadband across the counties - £23million project described as "vital" to the region and its economy by local councillor
BT has been announced as the preferred provider for superfast broadband in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Providing faster broadband access across the county will transform the lives of many residents and businesses.
As part of the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) plan, which aim to deliver the "best broadband in Europe" by 2015, local authorities have been placed in charge of planning the infrastructure deployment. That includes choosing the company that will install fibre optic cables.
Gloucestershire and Wiltshire are running a joint project, and started the procurement process back in June this year. According to BBC News, Wiltshire council has put £15.5million into the plan, along with £4.66million of government funding. South Gloucestershire council has put in £2.2million of its own money in, along with £710,000 from the government.
BT has been selected to deploy the infrastructure for superfast broadband across these regions, and is expected to get the contract for the project in early December.
The BDUK project has faced criticism due to the lack of companies bidding to deploy broadband in each region. A number of BT's rivals, such as Fujitsu, have previously removed their bids for similar projects, complaining about excessive bureaucracy and doubts about economic viability, while some have said the process of favours BT.
Wiltshire councillor John Thomson welcomed the selection of BT and the roll-out of superfast broadband across his region, describing the project as "vital" to the economy.
"Providing faster broadband access across the county will transform the lives of many residents and businesses who struggle to make full use of the internet and online services," he said.
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