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Councils across the UK are being invited to bid for the second wave of government broadband funding.

Broadband Delivery UK has another £50 million to distribute among local and regional infrastructure projects in rural areas.

The government is pressing ahead with plans to bring fibre broadband to rural areas, despite the seemingly slow progress being made on its four pilot projects announced in 2010.

Work is yet to commence on the initiatives - to be run in North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Herefordshire and the Highlands and Islands - which are designed to demonstrate best practice for the rollout of fibre services in rural areas.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne commented: "This is very much a locally-driven process and we encourage bids from all local people with plans for improving broadband in their local area."

The government has committed to spend £830 million delivering a minimum of 2Mb broadband to rural areas by 2015.

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