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Telecoms giant BT is not guaranteed access to the government's £830 million pot for rural broadband network development, it has been claimed.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently praised the contribution made by the broadband provider in delivering next-generation web services across the UK.

He said BT had implemented a "fantastic range of measures" in order to improve broadband coverage, through its ongoing £2.5 billion investment plan.

However, Mr Hunt has dismissed suggestions that the government broadband fund will simply be handed over to BT to continue this work.

As reported by the Financial Times, he said the Con-Lib coalition is looking for local consortia involving internet service providers to bid for investment capital, as the government aims to deliver high-speed broadband to every community in the UK.

"We are talking to local authorities, people like BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk [and] Sky... to see who comes up with solutions. We will back the best ones," Mr Hunt explained.

So while BT is likely to be involved in the rollout of broadband to rural communities, infrastructure funding is likely to be shared around.

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