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BT is the last major bidder in the running for a fibre-optic broadband pilot in the Highlands and Islands, it has been reported.

Cable & Wireless has pulled out of the tender process, a week after Fujitsu and Geo Networks announced they would not submit bids.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant expressed "deep concern" at the loss of another potential bidder for the initiative.

"This follows Fujitsu backing out last week due to the lack of public money being invested in the project," she stated.

Scotland was given just £68.8 million out of the government's £530 million rural broadband fund, and the cost of the Highlands and Islands pilot has been projected at around £300 million alone.

A BT spokesperson told ZDNet UK that the firm still plans to bid for the right to rollout fibre broadband in northern Scotland.

"Highlands and Islands is about as rural as you get. It's without a doubt one of the most challenging regions to supply because of the geography and the topology," they stated.

"We've got a long history of supplying the Highlands and Islands and working with the Highlands and Islands Enterprise."

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