THE government has said it will give £5million towards boosting superfast broadband in South Yorkshire in the wake of the failed Digital Region Limited scheme.

A government assessment suggests 90 per cent of the county can be given high-speed internet access at a cost of about £10m.

That figure is a fraction of the costs associated with Digital Region.

Barnsley invested £7m along with Doncaster and Rotherham while Sheffield City Council committed £14m to the now defunct project.

It cost taxpayers a staggering £155m before being abandoned in August last year.

It had only signed up 3,000 paying customers but needed 108,000 to be self-sufficient.

The government now wants South Yorkshire to fall in line with other parts of the country and sign a deal with a private sector firm, likely to be BT.

That deal would extend the existing commercial broadband network to more remote areas and ensure 90 per cent coverage.

Under proposals by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is in charge of the government's 'Broadband Delivery for the UK' scheme, it would put forward half the money needed.

Barnsley and the other three councils would be expected to find the remaining £5m.

A BT spokesperson said the programme could be a good solution for extending high-speed broadband across South Yorkshire.

"BT's fibre network already stretches across much of the region.

"We'd be happy to talk to the government and South Yorkshire's local authorities to see if we can support their push to 90 per cent and beyond."