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BT reaches £56.6 million broadband deal with Herefordshire and Gloucestershire

BT will now extend its superfast broadband network to encompass 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, as it has been named the preferred bidder for the joint Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative.

The project promises to bring 2Mbps broadband access to 140,000 households by 2016. If this target is met, speeds will be upped to 24Mbps by 2018.

The local governing bodies are injecting a combined £18.17 million of funds via the BDUK, Herefordshire Council is investing £10.1 million, while Gloucestershire County Council will be providing the remaining £7.5 million. BT will also invest £20.9 million into the forthcoming rollout.

“The County Council has a commitment to help Gloucestershire grow by investing in better skills, infrastructure and homes – for young people, for business and for the community,” said Gloucestershire County Council leader Mark Hawthorne.

“This deal enables us to put in place an infrastructure to support growing businesses and help people live where they want to live.”

The rollout will also be accompanied by a ‘where- and-when’ website, which is expected to launch early next year.

This news follows an earlier BT announcement that its fibre optic infrastructure will cover two-thirds of the country by 2014, beating initial time estimates by 18 months.