TALKS with prospective broadband providers are due to start this month as councils prepare to improve connections in parts of Oxfordshire.

The county council has started “competitive dialogue” with providers ahead of implementation of its Better Broadband Programme.

The scheme includes a £10m investment from the county council, along with £3.86million in national funds, in the Broadband Delivery UK’s “superfast broadband” programme.

It will aim to extend and improve the broadband infrastructure to parts of the county which currently suffer from poor or unreliable connectivity.

The council is also working to deliver “beyond superfast” connectivity for the Enterprise Zones of Harwell and Milton Park using £2.1m from the Government’s Growing Places Fund.

It has also joined forces with the city council in preparing a bid for £5m from the Government’s “super-connected cities” fund.

A report to yesterday’s county council growth and infrastructure scrutiny committee said: “The programme will enter into competitive dialogue with prospective partners in November 2012, with an expectation of a signed contract in the spring of 2013 and completed roll-out by 2015.”

The meeting was held at the County Hall in New Road.