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BT has defended receiving £1.7 billion of taxpayers' money to roll out broadband in rural locations.

The provider was given the subsidy to help fund its rollout of 24Mbps broadband across remote parts of Britain.

Nearly one in three homes have signed up for fast broadband, far more than the amount that had originally been calculated and used to determine the size of the subsidy.

BT therefore chose to return £258 million to the government.

Vodafone recently criticised the funding model on the grounds that BT has been left to decide what is and isn't commercially viable, the Telegraph reports.

However, BT has since insisted that the fact it is repaying money back to the government shows that the project has worked well.

Julian Ashworth, Director of Policy at BT, commented: "It shows that where we have success, we’re giving the money back."

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