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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 August, 2004, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
Broadband help for rural business
Computer cables
A broadband connection can speed things up for businesses
An extra 1m is to be made available to encourage rural businesses to take up a broadband connection.

Eligible companies will be able to receive 1,000 towards a two-way satellite system or a high-cost bespoke business broadband solution.

Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace said the funding followed the success of last year's incentive scheme.

It saw 3,000 businesses receive 2.2m for broadband installations tailored to their needs.

The scheme aims to increase further broadband take-up in areas of Scotland that will not have access to mass market broadband before autumn 2005.

Mr Wallace made the announcement during a visit to Midton Acrylics in Lochgilphead which benefited from an earlier pilot scheme to help companies take on a broadband satellite connection.

Growing economy

He said: "Broadband can make a real difference for rural businesses.

"It helps to remove some of the barriers which geography puts in the way of rural businesses.

"We are committed to growing Scotland's economy and it is clear to me that putting in place the technological infrastructure such as broadband is a key ingredient in our future economic success."

Ken Enock, managing director of Midton Acrylics, added: "Our business is vitally reliant on rapid response to our customers' requests and the connection allows us to move files 20 times faster than conventional equipment.

"It also offers us the facility to utilise an FTP Server which speeds up the transfer of data and operates over the 24-hour period, which is particularly helpful to transmit large files and for international customers who operate in different time zones.

"The provision of this service has assisted our business in the modern competitive environment and has contributed to our supply of highly-regarded products worldwide."

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