Residents in Devon and Somerset will benefit from superfast net access after the government revealed it will plough £30m into rolling-out next-generation broadband in the area.

Furthermore, Norfolk will receive £15m in funding while Wiltshire will be given £4m.

The areas are the first to be chosen from bids from local authorities for a share of a £530m pot earmarked by the government last year in a bid to ensure the UK has the "best superfast broadband network in Europe" by 2015.

"Broadband is becoming just as essential to homes and businesses as electricity and telephone lines and it is now only a matter for time before people in these three rural areas have access to the connection speeds more commonly associated with towns and cities," said Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

"This is part of our plan for virtually every community in the UK to have access to superfast broadband."

The four local authorities will now ask contractors to bid to carry out the work in each area. It is hoped the relevant infrastructure will be installed in the areas within the next the next year.

In October last year, the government announced it would fund trials of superfast broadband in North Yorkshire, Herefordshire, Cumbria and the Highlands.