New £10m fund for rural broadband

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A new £10m fund will be available to pay for pilot schemes using alternative broadband technologies in Britain’s most rural areas, the Government has announced.

Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, said she hopes alternative technology providers will come forward with innovative ideas to get superfast broadband to Britain’s most remote communities.

The Government claims 95 per cent of the UK will be connected to superfast broadband by 2017, and the new fund aims to help those areas not currently part of the £1.1bn national programme.

Potential technologies that it is anticipated will be part of the applications include 4G mobile signals, fibre connections direct to premises or closer to them and satellite broadband.

Mrs Miller said “Our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband will benefit everyone from school children to business owners, parents to patients. An estimated 10,000 homes and businesses are gaining access to superfast speeds every week but now we need to focus on the hardest to reach communities.

“If we want to ensure all communities can benefit then we need to think imaginatively about alternative technology, and the pilots will be instrumental in helping us overcome the challenges of reaching the final 5 per cent of premises.”

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