BT has signed a contract worth £27.67 million with Derbyshire County Council to make fibre optic broadband available to 88,000 more premises across the county.
The telco expects that the deal, which builds on its existing commercial fibre deployment in the county, will bring faster broadband speeds to more than 95% of homes and businesses in the area by 2016.
BT is contributing £12.87 million to the project, while the council is contributing £4.9 million. A further £7.4 million is coming from the Government's Broadband Development UK (BDUK) fund, in addition to £2.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The higher speeds will mainly be achieved by installing fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, which feeds a cable from a local telephone exchange to the property and can achieve download speeds of up to 80MBps, and upstream speeds of 20Mbps.
The project aims to provide premises not included in the 95% with a download speed of at least 2Mbps, which is the minimum bandwidth required to operate streaming services such as BBC iPlayer.
Bill Murphy, BT's Managing Director of Next Generation Access, said: "Small companies dominate the county's economy with more than 80% employing less than 10 people. In today's economy a fast and reliable broadband service is vital for their success, and for attracting new inward investment to Derbyshire, which in turn will help to stimulate jobs and growth throughout the county."