The US government has confirmed it is scrapping its billion-dollar virtual security fencing border project after months of rumour.

First formulated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2005, the SBInet programme was to be installed along the border with Arizona to stem illegal immigration, the Wall Street Journal reports.

But technology glitches, delays and costs that went beyond the initial budget meant just 53 miles of the Arizona border was covered by SBInet – at a cost of nearly $1 billion (£628 million).

A record number of illegal immigrants entered the US in the 12 months up to September 30th, figures from the US government suggested, the newspaper said.

"SBInet cannot meet its original objective of providing a single, integrated border-security technology solution," homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano was quoted by the newspaper as saying in a written statement.

DHS will instead concentrate on proven technology to protect the border.ADNFCR-3337-ID-800346967-ADNFCR