Gloucestershire and Herefordshire enter final broadband negotiations
Widespread super-fast broadband coverage in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire is closer to becoming a reality after the county councils agreed to begin final negotiations with an unnamed provider.
The local authorities are working together on the Borders Broadband project, which aims to bring high-speed connectivity to rural communities that would otherwise have missed out due to the prohibitive cost of deployments.
According to BBC News, the preferred supplier will now be approached by the councils with a view to hammering out the final details of the contract.
When it is up and running, the network will allow other internet service providers to offer products to homes and businesses beyond the reach of their own infrastructure.
The combined Borders Broadband contract is worth £35.4 million and is one of four national pilot schemes intended to test the deployment of super-fast connections in rural areas.
Graham Powell, Herefordshire Council's broadband champion, told the Hereford Times it is crucial the network that is constructed with the help of public money is capable of standing the test of time.
Highlighting the challenges attached to the Borders Broadband project, he claimed: "Herefordshire is the most difficult place in the country to deliver this."