WILTSHIRE Council has announced British Telecom has been chosen as the preferred bidder to provide superfast broadband to premises across the county.

John Thomson, cabinet member for communities, said: “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.

“This project is vital to our economy. Having high speed internet connectivity will be critical to the success of businesses already based in the county, and will also be a huge attraction to those looking to move in.” In June the council, in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council, launched a procurement process inviting businesses in the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) national procurement framework, to bid for the contract and demonstrate why they would provide the best value for money and highest level of service. The contract will be awarded once European State Aid is granted to the UK by the European Commission. The roll out of the broadband improvements will be completed in 2015.

The procurement programme is being led by Wiltshire Council with an investment of £15.5million with an additional £4.66million in government funding.