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South Yorkshire's 25Mb Digital Region project could be sold off the private sector, it has been reported.

According to the Yorkshire Post, the EU and council-funded super-fast broadband network – which is due to come online in 2012 – is continuing to suffer difficulties.

The network itself is more than half complete, but with broadband providers failing to adopt the £100 million fibre network, its public backers are believed to be considering their options.

With Yorkshire Forward – the regional development agency which has driven the project – set to be closed down by the government, the future of the broadband network is far from certain.

Phil Coppard, Chief Executive of Barnsley Council, told the Yorkshire Post that discussions are ongoing about what will happen to Digital Region.

He explained that when Yorkshire Forward closes, ownership of the fibre network will revert to the Department for Business.

"The discussion is, what happens then?" Mr Coppard questioned. "If [the government] brings a partner in then that might not be a bad thing."

South Yorkshire – which includes the metropolitan districts of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster – has been allocated no Broadband Delivery UK funding out of the government's £530 million pot.

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