BT set to make £129 million available to extend superfast broadband rollout

BT has announced that it will make an extra £129 million available to extend the rollout of superfast broadband, in a move welcomed by the government.

The funding is set to be available for local authorities to use in providing extensions to the originally planned rollout of broadband.

The money is being made available through a clause in the agreements that BT made with central government and local authorities, which allows funding that BT has received be reinvested into further broadband coverage if take up exceeds the original business case.

John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “It’s fantastic to see that the rollout of superfast broadband is delivering for customers and for the taxpayer.

The Government was clear from the start that as levels of people taking up superfast broadband went beyond our expectations in areas where we invested public money, BT would reimburse the taxpayer for reinvesting into further coverage across the UK. This now means that BT will be providing up to £129m cashback for some of the most hard to reach areas.”

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT, said: “We’ve hit our original take-up assumption and have rolled out ahead of target and on budget. This is a real success story for the UK.

We are delighted to be able to share that success by making up to £129m available to extend the roll-out to more BDUK homes and businesses, earlier than planned and at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

BT will work with local bodies over the coming months to identify where these funds can be provided early to enable the local bodies to invest in increased fibre coverage sooner than would previously have been the case.”

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