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Wiltshire chucks £7m at broadband

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One of the largest public-private sector partnerships in Wiltshire is helping to bring broadband to this rural county.

Some £7m is being invested to increase access to broadband for residents and businesses and to help those who already have access to take full advantage of the technology.

As part of its £3m commitment to the scheme, BT brought forward the upgrading of 11 Wiltshire exchanges (Chiseldon, Keevil, Bromham, Pewsey, Westbury, Wilton, Purton, Cricklade, Seend, Amesbury and Hawthorn) which were all kitted out with DSL before Christmas.

As a result eight in ten homes in Wiltshire and nine in ten homes in Swindon are now connected to a DSL-enabled exchange. Other exchanges could also be converted to DSL as part of the initiative.

Those behind the "e-Wiltshire" scheme recently opened two "experience centres" in Salisbury and Swindon so that people could try out broadband for themselves. A third centre is to be opened in Trowbridge in six weeks' time.

Last year £1.4m of public sector cash was used to help bring broadband to Yorkshire and the Humber region.

The scheme, sponsored by the region's development agency and part-backed by European money, used the cash to provide training and support for 1,800 businesses to hook up to broadband. ®

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