Belfast Telegraph

£17m to boost broadband coverage

Another £17 million is to be invested to improve Northern Ireland's broadband infrastructure.

The Superfast Rollout Programme, which will be delivered by BT, is aimed at improving coverage of superfast internet.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said i t will bring more choice and improve speeds to more than 38,000 premises.

She added: "The Superfast Rollout Programme is another significant step in making superfast broadband services more widely available."

It represents an investment of £17 million by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), the Department of Culture Media and Sport (IDCMS) in London and BT.

As a result of previous investments by the Executive, many people across Northern Ireland now enjoy some of the best telecoms services in the UK, Ms Foster added.

The project will begin with an extensive survey and design process which will take place over a number of months. BT will then begin re-engineering the existing equipment, changing it into a fibre rich, open access network enabling more people to use superfast broadband.

UK Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey added: "Our UK-wide rollout of superfast broadband is proceeding at pace and we've already reached more than two million properties.

"Today's announcement is fantastic news for Northern Ireland - this additional funding will see tens of thousands more homes and businesses able to access superfast speeds and will provide a tremendous boost to Northern Ireland's economy."

Colm O'Neill, chief executive at BT Northern Ireland, said: "The Superfast Rollout Programme marks another successful step in Northern Ireland's broadband journey, helping to strengthen its position as one of the best regions in Europe for fibre speeds and availability."

DETI and DCMS are contributing £7 million each. BT is putting £3 million towards the project.

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