Broadband project for rural areas

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A new European project will help bring broadband internet access to rural areas in England.

The European Union is planning to spend 3.5 million euros (£2.7 million) to tackle the problem of the 30 per cent of rural homes and businesses without broadband through the B3 Regions for Better Broadband Connection project.

UK-based company NYnet, set up by North Yorkshire county council, has been chosen as one of the partners after its work in communities in the area.

Although some rural areas can get DSL connections, these are generally not fast enough to support new applications and some communities are too far from BT exchanges for any internet connection.

The EU project began in Turin, Italy, in September and will reach other countries such as Spain and Poland.

Meanwhile, the new minister for communications, technology and broadcasting Stephen Carter is preparing a report titled Digital Britain, which will explore issues such as content standards, user safety and security.

The report will also address broadband development, digital radio and IT skills.

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