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Project Access is a UK broadband scheme launched in 2005 that aims to deliver a high capacity wireless broadband network across Cumbria and North Lancashire. The £20 million scheme, funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency has just been named among the top 5 best European broadband projects by the EU commission.

The innovative scheme was celebrated in Brussels last week at the ‘Bridging the Broadband Gap’ event. Project Access beat off competitors to become the fifth best scheme from an initial list of 149 other projects.

The scheme has been an undoubted success and since its launch broadband coverage across the region of Cumbria and North Lancashire has increased from 30 per cent to more than 98 per cent.

Phil Southward, who leads Project Access said “Recognition from across Europe underpins the £20m investment made by the agency to bring leading edge fast internet services to even the most remote rural areas across Cumbria and North Lancashire… With businesses in these areas now being provided with the tools to improve skills, raise productivity and increase competitiveness, this project has made an enormous impact not just for Cumbria, but for the whole of the North West.”

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