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The Chief Executive of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) - the body charged with distributing government funding for rollout projects - has responded to criticism over its tender process.

Concerns have been raised that smaller infrastructure providers have been unable to compete for local authority projects - with only BT and Fujitsu selected from an original list of nine companies on BDUK's framework agreement, reports Total Telecom.

But Dr Robert Sullivan defended the process, explaining that the weak commercial case for investing in rural broadband networks means BDUK is lucky to have any providers on board - let alone two major players in BT and Fujitsu.

"Just getting to that point was very challenging," he told attendees at a Westminster eForum event in London.

"We can't force the private sector to invest billions of pounds in new networks."

Last year, BDUK allocated finance from the government's £530 million Rural Broadband Fund to local authorities around the UK.

The money is designed to ensure that every UK community has access to at least 2Mb broadband by 2015.

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