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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 08:19 GMT
Broadband boost for rural areas
Kirby Stephen
It is often difficult to bring broadband to rural areas
Rural areas of the North have moved a step closer to seeing quicker internet connection for their communities.

Internet Broadcasting Corporation from Texas is using Cumbria to try out some of the newest internet technology.

The technology, Wi Fi , or wireless broadband, is used for high speed internet and network connections, and allows large files to be transferred more quickly.

And in Northumberland, broadband services go live in Ponteland next week.


We want to see a level playing field

Anthony Haslam, Country Land and Business Association

The switch on of high speed access in Ponteland comes as a new body steps up its campaign to get broadband across the county.

The North East branch of the Country Land and Business Association is setting up the new Rural Internet Watchdog.

Regional director Anthony Haslam said: "We are talking about quicker access to the Internet.

Satellite dish

"The problem is that it is a very expensive business to bring broadband capability to all rural areas.

"If rural businesses could access broadband at a reasonable monthly rate it would create a level playing field."

He said access via satellite would cost between 150 and 180 after a costly dish was installed.

A spokesman for BT said that two-thirds of areas in the North-East had broadband access and that the remaining areas would be connected on a demand-led basis.

In Cumbria, the county has been chosen for the wireless broadband trial because Cumbria is one of the hilliest counties in England.

Copper cable

It involves attaching a small satellite dish to the outside of a property, which the company says will cost around 200.

The work is being sponsored by the North West Development Agency, as it is feared broadband isn't coming to Cumbria quickly enough.

Normal broadband connection used copper cable which is not always easy to install in rural areas.

Some IT experts say it could take as long as three years for the whole county to be covered.


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05 Nov 02 | England
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