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Cambridgeshire snuggles up to NTL

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NTL Business has joined forces with Cambridgeshire County Council to build a broadband network for the county's rural community.

The £29m contract should bring broadband to 300 council offices, schools, libraries and community access points across Cambridgeshire by 2004.

Ultimately some 700 sites will be connected to the Cambridgeshire Community Network (CCN) if the necessary finance is secured to fund the investment.

Once up and running, local people will be able to access the broadband network via hundreds of computers sited across the county.

However, it's hoped that other operators could come up with ways to hook up to the CCN and provide broadband to individual homes and businesses not currently served by ADSL or existing cable services.

The CCN is the first community-wide broadband project to be funded under the Government's Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

A spokesman for the cableco said the deal was a "landmark for communications in local government". ®

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