Superfast broadband: BT preferred supplier in counties

BT is a step closer to being given the task of supplying superfast broadband to homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire by 2015.

Both councils have announced the company as preferred supplier for the £23m joint project, following a procurement process started in June.

The contract, part of the national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, will be awarded in early December.

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

'Vital' project

Conservative councillor John Thomson, from Wiltshire Council, said the project was "vital" to the local 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 added.

A spokeswoman for South Gloucestershire Council said the contract was subject to the approval of state aid from the European Commission.

Wiltshire Council is contributing £15.5m to the project, with an additional £4.66m government funding.

South Gloucestershire Council is investing £2.2m in the district's broadband provision, alongside £710,000 of government funding.

BDUK is responsible for managing the government's broadband funding.

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

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