Nottinghamshire County Council has awarded a rural broadband contract to BT which is worth a total of £20 million.
The Superfast Broadband Nottinghamshire project will build on BT’s existing commercial "superfast" fibre broadband roll-out across the county.
Nottinghamshire County Council is investing £2.5 million in the project and successfully won a bid for an additional £2.7 million of European funding to bring high speed broadband to even more businesses.
BDUK, the government’s rural broadband delivery arm, is contributing £4.5 million to the scheme, with a further £800,000 coming from Nottinghamshire borough and district Councils. In total, 52,000 business premises and homes will benefit from the project. BT has agreed to contribute £9.3 million to the project.
Councillor Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am very proud to be able to bring a fibre broadband service to 95 percent of the county’s homes and businesses.
“By working with BT and other partners including the district and city councils, we will end the digital divide experienced by many of our rural areas, especially in Newark and Sherwood, Bassetlaw and Rushcliffe."
Rhodes said: “Our business training workshops are still available for local firms to find out more about the enormous benefits high speed broadband can bring. Over 150 businesses have already attended a session to gain a better understanding of the new opportunities available online.”
Ed Vaizey, communications minister, said: “Broadband speeds in Nottinghamshire are about to undergo a radical transformation which will see 95 percent of homes and businesses able to access fibre broadband by March 2016."
Last month the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee slammed the rural broadband programme, claiming BT was not being clear enough about the charges it was levying councils to deliver it.