Fujitsu has joined forces with Cisco and UK ISPs Virgin Media and TalkTalk in a bid to bring superfast broadband to rural areas of the UK.

Fujitsu plans to build its own fibre optic network underpinned by technology from Cisco, that will rival the similar offering being rolled-out across the UK by BT Openreach. Virgin Media and TalkTalk will then be responsible for using the network to supply broadband services to Brits. However, Fujitsu said the network will also be open to other ISPs that want to offer internet access to consumers.

The majority of the network will use Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology and Fujitsu said it will offer both 1GBbps upload and download speeds with the potential to go to 10Gbps and beyond in the future. It is expected to be rolled-out to five million households in the UK, although the firm did not reveal in which areas. Fujitsu will use a mixture of underground ducts and overhead technology, following Ofcom's approval of a scheme that will see BT provide access to its infrastructure to other telecommunications firms on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. However, recently BT came under fire from a number of ISPs that claimed its pricing and terms and conditions were unfair.

"Superfast broadband is already helping businesses grow and improving the lives of those able to access it. But many rural and hard to reach areas are missing out. The whole of the UK should be able to share in the benefits of broadband and we are determined to make that happen by the end of the Parliament. That is why the Government is investing over £500m in taking superfast broadband to everyone," said Communications minister Ed Vaizey.

"I am delighted that Fujitsu along with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco share the Government's vision. The collaboration between these companies was exactly the sort of ambition and innovation the Government wanted to stimulate by removing barriers to broadband rollout."