Bids from both BT and Fujitsu to provide high-speed internet access in Cumbria have been turned down by the county council.

cumbria county council logo reject bids internet fujitsu bt town centre

The two companies were the only two bidders in the process but Cumbria county council rejected both offers, according to media reports.

BT and Fujitsu have been asked to resubmit their bids with improved terms and BT has already confirmed it will table a new bid.

"All we can really say about it at the moment is that we are currently looking at that. Hopefully we can give more information soon," a UK spokesman for Fujitsu told IB Times UK.

"We will continue to work with the authority to try and secure what is a highly contested tender," a BT spokesman told the BBC.

Fujitsu said it would look again at the process before deciding whether to submit another offer.

Cumbria county council has been awarded £17m from a public subsidy to fund the project.

The county council's decision is a setback for the UK government's plans to improve internet access in rural areas and connect 90 percent of homes and businesses to superfast broadband by 2015.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in October 2011 that Cumbria would be one of the areas used in a pilot test demonstrating the best way to install a fast network in a new area.

The government has allocated £530m overall to UK councils to bring rural areas up to the same technical standards as the high speed internet services found in towns and cities.

However, critics say the rollout of services in the program has been slow and the bidding process has been made overcomplicated.