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The government has opened its £10 million super-fast rural broadband fund to bids.

Additional public money is being made available by the Con-Lib coalition as it bids to extend coverage into some of the more remote parts of Britain.

The fund will enable a range of pilot projects to be run, helping to develop new technologies and processes which can be used to increase network penetration in the UK countryside.

Suppliers can submit bids in three different categories - technology, operating models and financial.

Technology pilots will be to see if particular solutions can be used in remote areas, while those classified under operating models will be to test whether specific ways of working can assist the rollout of network infrastructure.

Projects in the financial category will involve testing innovative public and private funding models that could bring in new investment to support deployment work.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller explained that the government's rollout of super-fast broadband is already reaching more than 10,000 homes every week.

"But now we need to focus on the hardest-to-reach communities," she claimed.

"These pilots will be instrumental in helping us understand how to overcome the challenges of reaching the most remote areas of the UK."

Ms Miller said she hopes to see a wide range of suppliers coming forward with innovative proposals - those which can help deliver the benefits of super-fast broadband nationwide.

Rural Affairs Minister Dan Rogerson noted that the aim of the fund is to help people living in very remote areas secure the benefits of super-fast broadband.

"Fast and reliable broadband coverage is crucial in building a stronger economy," he stated.

It is needed to build a fairer society for farmers and all rural businesses to be able to compete and grow, Mr Rogerson added.

The government is aiming to ensure that 95 per cent of the UK population has access to super-fast broadband by 2017.

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