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Northern Ireland is continuing its plan to improve broadband coverage in rural areas.

The country's Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) has announced the third round of funding to support the introduction of high-speed broadband in the counties of Fermanagh, Armagh and Down.

From today, broadband providers will be able to tender for £1.9 million from the Northern Ireland Broadband Fund to develop technology to serve the three regions.

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster explained: "Our key objective is to encourage the emergence of affordable, high-speed broadband services in rural areas, providing conditions for the growth of local enterprises and supporting commercial, educational and social requirements."

This third stage will follow the first two rounds of funding which were used to establish a fixed wireless network in rural areas in the west of Northern Ireland and to support a trial of new technology in Ballintoy and Ballinamallard.

Ms Foster said its "vital" that momentum is maintained with the project to ensure that the country benefits from broadband developments.

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