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Northern Ireland unveils £5m rural broadband investment

Wednesday, May 8th 2013 by Paul France
Northern Ireland unveils £5 million rural broadband investment

Rural communities across Northern Ireland are set to benefit from a newly announced broadband investment.

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced a £5 million investment in rural broadband, aimed at areas that are currently unable to access fixed-line connectivity.

Under the project, unveiled this week by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, infrastructure will be put in place to allow third-party providers to deliver an improved service in 'notspot' communities.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill explained that the money is specifically designed to boost access in areas of "high deprivation" across the north.

"I hope that this funding will stimulate companies supplying broadband to get out into rural areas and use this infrastructure to provide access for rural dwellers and businesses to use broadband," she commented.

Ms O'Neill said she wants the investment to give residents wider access to services via broadband and stimulate firms based outside urban centres.

This latest funding boost takes the department's total investment in rural broadband to £7.5 million. It is hoped that the cash will support the rollout of faster connectivity to some of the 37,000 rural properties that are not currently served by fixed-line networks.

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