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Published: Saturday 15 May 2010

When established telecom firms said it was not economical to provide fast broadband services to Lyddington, people raised £37,000 to set up their own network. The 200 homes in this eastern UK village now have a broadband that offers them speeds of up to 40mbps (megabits per second). Homes in rural UK usually do not get broadband speeds of more than 2mbps. The broadband service is the endeavour of Rutland Telecom scheme, a joint effort between villagers and a local Internet service provider.

It took two years to set up the network. Rutland Telecom’s director Mark Melluish said it is “the first time in UK telecommunications’ history the telephone lines of customers are cut off from the local British Telecom exchange”. Forty other rural community groups have approached Rutland which is about to launch similar schemes in Leicestershire and Wales.

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