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Rural broadband pilot areas named

Four rural areas have been selected to pilot the next generation of high speed broadband. This is in preparation for a £530 million project to help upgrade areas of Britain that the broadband market alone would not meet

Superfast broadband: four pilot areas named

The rural areas to be connected at speeds only usually found in densely populated urban areas are:

  • the Highlands and Islands, Scotland
  • Cumbria
  • North Yorkshire
  • the Golden Valley, Herefordshire

The pilot exercise will help establish the commercial costs and challenges involved in rolling out superfast broadband across the UK. Each pilot area will be get between five and ten million pounds.

£530 million in funding will support the roll-out of broadband across the UK between now and 2015 to areas that the market alone will not reach.

Work will begin on upgrading the broadband infrastructure in the four areas following further definition of the pilots and a procurement process. It is hoped that suppliers will start rolling out upgraded infrastructure within a year. The pilots will be paid for with a combination of public and private investment.

Universal provision

The government wants the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, with a minimum download speed of two mega bytes per second for virtually every community. People in remote, as well as urban areas, need good online access with the social and economic benefits that brings. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will then use these networks to offer affordable services to homes and businesses.

Further information




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