Devon and Somerset broadband bidding process begins
Two firms have been invited to bid for a contract to bring superfast broadband to Devon and Somerset.
The project, Connecting Somerset and Devon, aims to get superfast broadband to rural parts of both counties with a roll-out due to begin by 2013.
The procurement process has been launched and BT and Fujitsu have been invited to tender for the contract.
Research from the project showed about 24,500 people and businesses support bringing in a faster broadband service.
The average broadband speed in Somerset is 3Mbps per second, but some areas are lower than 2Mbps per second.
If broadband speed is lower than 2Mbps per second, users are unable to access video or other multimedia at a reasonable speed.
Superfast broadband will involve installing fibre optic cables to enable broadband speed to become 10 times faster, with speeds of at least 30Mbps and up to 100Mbps per second.
So far local councils have secured £53m in funding for superfast broadband and hope the chosen firm would also invest in the project.