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East Gains 99.7% Broadband Cover

Posted: 19th Sep, 2006 By: MarkJ
The East England Development Agency (EEDA) has reported that, with the last of 582 BT telephone exchanges being upgraded to support ADSL, 99.7% of the region's residents can now access broadband services:

Through its Demand Broadband campaign, the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) has supported work to ensure the region’s last 10 rural telephone exchanges were enabled.

The successful roll out of broadband services to communities across the East of England has in part been driven by EEDA’s award-winning Demand Broadband campaign. When it was launched in 2002 just 53% of the region’s residents had access to broadband services.

The campaign drove more than 17,000 people to register on the Demand Broadband website, which helped persuade BT and other telecoms providers that there was a strong market for broadband in the region’s market towns and rural areas. EEDA’s Connecting Communities Competition, run in conjunction with the campaign, helped to bring communities together to find their own broadband providers, when others were not interested in providing the service.

Peter McCarthy-Ward, BT’s East of England regional director, said: "Every BT exchange in the East of England region is now upgraded with the latest high-speed broadband capability, available to virtually 100 per cent of homes and businesses."

Broadband was brought to the last two communities in the region this summer. They were Willingale, near Chelmsford and Lucy Lane, Colchester. Prickwillow in Cambridgeshire is receiving broadband services from Edge Telecom which won the contract for upgrading BT's local exchange.

Excellent news for residents of the region and a big improvement over 2002, when just 53% had access to broadband services.
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