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How you can boost your Broadband

PUBLISHED: 19:21 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:45 02 July 2010

Rural communities around Norwich suffering from snail-speed internet connections have been given a call to arms as they are invited to follow the example of one village and tackle the problem themselves.

Rural communities around Norwich suffering from snail-speed internet connections have been given a call to arms as they are invited to follow the example of one village and tackle the problem themselves.

Vast swathes of the region suffer from sluggish internet access, which is frustrating for families and a blow to businesses struggling to compete.

But a solution may be at hand as one East Midlands village has set up its very own broadband company.

Villagers in Lyddington, Rutland, clubbed together and stumped up £37,000 of their own money to create Rutland Telecom, which launched yesterday, pumping information into around 50 homes at speeds up to 10 times the national average.

The community-spirited triumph has already been hailed as a significant milestone in telecoms history, and the company has been inundated with calls from other rural communities hoping to follow their example - including two inquiries from Norfolk.

Now telecoms consultant Andrew Stoddart, has said he is so sick of slow browsing speeds that he is researching the possibility of following Rutland's lead and launching a company in Banham, near Attleborough.

The 30-year-old said: “Broadband round here is ridiculously slow, which is particularly bad for local businesses.

“It's not going to get any better because the government is cutting funding and I'm interested in the whole idea. There are advantages in a community being responsible for its needs.

“Even if we could double the connection speed we currently get, I think people would want to do that - it's just about finding enough people to put their names down.”

Slow download speeds affect internet shoppers, online gamers and anyone wanting to use services like YouTube or BBC iPlayer to watch videos online.

Lacklustre connections also curb local businesses' ability to utilise the ever-important medium of the web.

Phillip Duigan, chairman of Norfolk County Council's Broadband Working Group, hailed Rutland's success as a “possible solution” for the region.

He added: “Here's a group of people who've got together and sorted out their broadband problems: we could definitely learn from this.

“In this part of the world we've had a series of promises but we're getting nowhere fast - communities can get out there and do it themselves.”

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