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Millions of pounds are to be spent by the government on making superfast broadband available to an extra 600,000 premises.

A total of £440 million will be put towards improving connectivity for homes and businesses in rural parts of the country.

The money has been made available thanks to careful contract management by the government, local authorities and BT, as more than £150 million has been saved across 44 projects.

Returned subsidies from BT makes up the rest of the £440 million sum.

Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, commented: "Our Broadband Delivery UK programme is giving families and businesses in hard-to-reach areas the fast and reliable internet connections which are increasingly at the heart of modern life.

"Strong take-up and robust value-for-money measures mean £440 million will be available for reinvestment where it matters - putting more connections in the ground."

Ms Bradley insisted that "great progress" in improving broadband connectivity has been made across the country, but stressed "there is still more to do".

She went on to stress that more people need to sign up to unlock extra funding for more connections.

"Broadband speeds aren’t boosted automatically - it needs people to sign up," Ms Bradley said.

"Increasing take-up is a win-win-win: consumers get a better service, it encourages providers to invest, and when more people sign up in BDUK areas, money is clawed back to pay for more connections."

According to figures from Ofcom, 9.1 million homes now have superfast broadband connections, compared with eight million a year ago.

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