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Manchester will be one of the cities to benefit most from BT's £1.5 billion fibre-optic broadband network.

The telecoms giant recently started work on a project which will see ten million households connected to next-generation fibre cable broadband services by the year 2012.

Bury, Didsbury, Failsworth, Heaton Moor, Oldham and Rusholme are all on the map of locations which will get broadband speed boosts.

"Once again, the north-west is at the forefront of one of the most important projects to take place in recent years," said BTs director for the region, Mike Blackburn. "It will play a vital role in the UK's future as a knowledge-based economy."

He continued: "The wider industry will now be able to plan ahead as we will be making our services available on a wholesale basis."

Steve Broomhead, chief executive of the Northwest Development Agency, welcomed the news, tipping faster broadband to ease the effect of the ongoing recession.

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