[xln] Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) could help rural businesses get connected to superfast broadband, a new government report has claimed.
The Local Growth White Paper states that the newly created agencies have an essential role in providing "leadership of projects and interventions".
It called on the bodies to collaborate closely with the private sector, local authorities and communities, while allowing Broadband Delivery UK to guide the process.
However, the LEPs do not have guaranteed finance, as they will have to instead be funded through applications to a Regional Development Fund, worth £1.4 billion.
The money is separate from the current £530 million set aside from funding for the BBC.
The funds are to be used to help businesses and homes in what has been dubbed "the final third" of the country.
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said recently that the partnerships are crucial in developing less London-centric sectors.
LEPs could drive superfast broadband connections