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Public cash wires up final 24 exchanges

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Every telephone exchange in Yorkshire has been wired up for broadband following the injection of £2.2m of public sector cash.

Regional Development Agency (RDA) Yorkshire Forward confirmed that the last of 24 exchanges - at Ramsgill Dale in North Yorkshire - was enabled for broadband at the end of December.

BT had originally said that upgrading these two dozen exchanges would not have been commercially viable.

Following the investment, some 4,000 householders and 800 businesses are now served by telephone exchanges which offer access the same high-speed broadband services as the rest of the region.

However, while Yorkshire can now boast that the whole county is wired for broadband, it also has some of the lowest take-up rates for high-speed net access in the UK.

"This needs to be improved and, over the next few months, we will be doing everything we can to make it happen," said Jim Farmery, head of technology infrastructure at Yorkshire Forward.

Yorkshire Forward announced in March 2005 that it would stump up £2.2m to broadband-enable 24 exchanges that BT had previously announced were not commercially viable. ®

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