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Rural areas in Northern Ireland are soon to benefit from a £1.9 million government investment into broadband.

Economy Minister Arlene Foster has launched an initiative which will see businesses undertaking technology trials given funding, contributing to the possibilities of high-speed broadband services being rolled out across more remote areas of the region.

The fund is financed under the European Regional Development Fund Sustainable Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 and interested firms are being encouraged to apply for the assistance.

"The delivery of next generation broadband services is high on the agenda of the Northern Ireland Assembly," said Ms Foster.

She continued: "The fund provides an excellent opportunity to pilot emerging technologies that will inevitably be part of the range of broadband solutions."

Different levels of assistance are being made available according to the size of businesses which choose to reply.

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