The European Commission has approved Government plans to roll out broadband to rural areas.
The UK Government says it is committed to “delivering the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015” and has made £530 million available to help fund the connection of rural communities.
Under the Broadband Delivery UK project councils will work with network providers to lay cables.
The areas intended to benefit most are those which commercial operators are unlikely to invest in due to profitability concerns.
Because the project involves the use of public cash it needed approval under EU state aid rules.
“BDUK, as a national competence centre, will assist local granting authorities in designing and implementing successful broadband support measures in line with EU competition rules.
“The umbrella scheme will be a big step towards the achievement of the EU Digital Agenda targets and a strong impetus for growth in the UK” said Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia.
Welcoming the go-ahead, UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “Superfast broadband is essential to creating growth, jobs and prosperity and the delay has caused frustration within Government.
“Today’s announcement means that we can crack on with delivering broadband plans, boosting growth and jobs around the country. “