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45,000 more rural homes in Northern Ireland to get broadband

Words: Roger Milne
Broadband cable

BT has committed to providing broadband to an extra 45,000 premises in rural areas of Northern Ireland by the end of 2015.

This expansion of its broadband network is part of a £24.5 million project.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) are providing £19 million of funding to the initiative.
Currently, more than 90 per cent of premises in Northern Ireland are connected to fibre broadband - a higher percentage than other regions of the UK.
Colm O'Neill, chief executive of BT Ireland, said: "That percentage puts Northern Ireland ahead of the rest of the UK and most of Europe, which is a good thing.
"However, there are still a lot of people who can't get fibre-based services and a lot of people still getting very low speeds."
He added: "The delivery of the Northern Ireland broadband improvement project, once complete, will again put Northern Ireland ahead of the rest of the UK, Ireland and most major European countries for availability of fibre broadband technology."