Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire's £35.6m broadband deal signed

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A multi-million-pound deal to roll out superfast broadband to 104,000 homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire has been finalised.

Both councils have signed a £35.6m deal with service provider BT.

It means up to 94% of homes should have access to speeds of up to 80Mbps by the end of March 2016.

Swindon Borough Council pulled out of the deal saying it did not suit its needs, and instead pressed on with plans for a 4G network.

Superfast broadband is considered to be speeds in excess of 24Mbps.

Councillor John Thomson, of Wiltshire Council, said: "[The] announcement will see Wiltshire becoming one of the most fibre-enabled counties in the country, after struggling with slower broadband speeds in the past.

"This project will really put the county on the map, attracting more businesses, helping existing ones grow and enabling rural properties become less isolated."

'Business benefits'

It is hoped the scheme will deliver superfast broadband to 91% of premises in Wiltshire, excluding Swindon, and 94% of premises in South Gloucestershire.

Councillor John Goddard, of South Gloucestershire Council, said it would ensure the district remains a "great place to live and do business".

"Benefits to firms will include faster file storage, computer back-up and processing for example," he said.

"The new technology will transform the way our residents use the internet at home."

Wiltshire Council is contributing £15.5m to the project, with South Gloucestershire Council investing £2m.

The national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), which is responsible for managing the government's broadband funding, will provide £4.6m for the scheme.

BT will put £12.8m into the project, and £0.74m will come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

BDUK aims to provide superfast broadband to at least 90% of premises in the UK.

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