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NI broadband improvements planned

Friday, February 14th 2014 by Editorial
Over 45,000 Northern Irish homes are to be offered improved fibre services.

Some £24.5 million will be put into improving broadband access for 45,000 premises in Northern Ireland struggling to get online.

Northern Irish Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster is planning to invest some £24.5 million in the country's fibre broadband infrastructure, working in tandem with BT to deliver the project.

Some 45,000 homes that currently struggle with slow speeds and poor access are to be specifically targeted as part of the scheme.

"There are areas of Northern Ireland where a fixed line solution is not possible for technical and commercial reasons," explained Ms Foster.

Attempting to reach isolated and rural parts of the province mean "the costs to improve services increase significantly so we need to ensure resources are used carefully", concluded the minister.

BT has pledged to complete the improvements by December 2015 to ensure consumers and businesses can benefit from them as quickly as possible.

At the moment, over 90 per cent of Northern Irish homes connected to a superfast fibre cabinet, with the country's relatively small size giving it an advantage over England and Scotland.