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The head of an Isle of Wight-based service provider believes smaller operators are being unfairly excluded from the UK's rural broadband rollout.

John Irvine, Chief Executive of WightFibre, told Island Pulse that the government’s procurement framework is "biased in favour of BT".

He claimed that local island networks are being prevented from bidding for local infrastructure projects - meaning BT has little real competition for tenders.

But Mr Irvine said this will not prevent his firm from deploying super-fast broadband under its own steam.

"WightFibre will achieve the objectives the council states in [its] own published broadband plan and it will do this without any council funding," Mr Irvine said.

He claimed the company will create a local fibre broadband network years ahead of the council's approved supplier - which he predicted will be BT.

Council-funded infrastructure upgrade work will not even begin until spring 2014, he noted.

"The public should ask the council why it is wasting their money in this way," he added.

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