Villagers living near a UK broadband hot spot have said their successful battle to get high speed internet access has made a huge difference.
Nine million British households now have broadband connections
It took two years for residents of the Oxfordshire village of Ashbury, near Swindon, to raise the £35,000 needed for BT to install a broadband exchange.
It was one of the last places in the country not to have broadband access.
A survey in August revealed more than half of Swindon households have high-speed internet access.
Villager Steve Treadwell who organised the installation, said it was unfair they were punished for not having a bigger exchange.
BT initially refused to install a bigger exchange because it was not "economically viable" as the previous exchange was put in before broadband was invented.
The village of Ashbury has about 200 households on the Wiltshire/ Oxfordshire border.
Broadband was activated in the village on 18 December after the money was raised from government grants and the South East Development Agency.
Toby Warren of White Horse District Council, also helped villagers by organising a tendering process for the right to install the new service.
Mr Treadwell, who runs internet-based Silicon Practise, said: "It's made an incredible difference - it just changes your life.
"Before [when using dial-up] I used to dread relatives sending pictures of their children to me as it took about 45 minutes to download the images. It was impossible.
"It's definitely improved community spirit. For a while I couldn't go to the pub without being pounced on by other residents," he said.