The money just keeps rolling in for BT, after it signed its latest rural broadband deal with Dorset County Council, worth £31.75 million.
Yesterday, BT signed a much bigger rural broadband deal with the Scottish government, and the company is set to get a total of around £1.2 billion from councils and central government to speed fibre broadband roll-outs across the UK.
BT is the only company in a rural broadband framework deal subsidised by the government.
The Dorset deal promises to deliver high-speed fibre optic broadband to 97 percent of premises in the county "within three and a half years" - if they sign up and pay for it.
The Superfast Dorset project builds on BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband, which has already made the technology available to more than half of Dorset’s homes and businesses (more than 190,000 premises), said BT.
BT is contributing £12.87 million towards the overall cost of the new fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas, while Dorset County Council and the county’s district and borough councils are contributing £9.44 million, and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) unit a further £9.44 million.
Spencer Flower, leader of Dorset County Council, said: “It's very important this broadband technology is made available to as many residents and businesses as possible. We want everyone in Dorset to have access to reliable and faster broadband within the next three and a half years.
“We know that some residents and businesses are frustrated by slow or no broadband access in Dorset, especially in rural areas - it’s one of the biggest issues facing our county."
The National Audit Office recently said councils and government would struggle to check the costs BT was levying to build the rural broadband networks around the UK.