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BTopenworld is to donate 800 ADSL connections to businesses and community groups over the next couple of years in a bid to drive demand for broadband.

The £1million initiative was announced this morning at a BTo broadband summit held in London.

As part of the initiative BTo will equip community groups and selected small businesses with broadband access and equipment free of charge.

BTo is currently working with trade organisations and community groups to identify organisation to take part in the scheme.

In return, those selected be expected to become "ambassadors" for BTo and help the ISP market broadband.

In another move, BTo has decided to spread the up-front costs of its broadband satellite service in a bid to encourage take-up in rural areas.

The service is designed to provide broadband to areas that don't have access to DSL-enabled exchanges. However, the service is costly.

A single-user service costs £59.99 (ex VAT) a month. However, installation costs are an eye-watering £899 (ex VAT).

By spreading the up-front costs over two or three years BTo reckons it can quadruple the number of customers taking up the service. ®

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