BT and Fujitsu are only providers to bid for broadband contracts
BT and Fujitsu are the only two companies picked to compete for public money allocated to supporting the rollout of broadband in remote and rural areas.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which operates the Broadband Delivery UK agency, has chosen the telecoms giants to be part of a national framework agreement aimed at saving money for local authorities, reports the Financial Times.
Questions have been asked about the competitiveness of the process, as there is no guarantee that both BT and Fujitsu will choose to bid for each contract.
Nine suppliers made it through the first stage of the selection, but the majority were put off from continuing due to the expense and complexity of deploying broadband infrastructure to rural communities.
One company to withdraw, Geo Networks, did so on the grounds that BT was charging too much for wholesale access to its duct and pole infrastructure, which can be utilised to lay fibre optic cables.
However, BT moved to allay fears over the process, commenting: "We have shown what can be achieved through a collaborative approach in both Cornwall and Northern Ireland and are keen to work with others to extend the fibre footprint in their areas."