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Aberdeen University has been awarded millions of pounds to fund a project which will research the importance of broadband connections in rural areas.

The educational establishment has secured funding worth £12.4 million over five years from the Research Councils UK’s (RCUK) Digital Economy Programme, which is led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Studies will be conducted by the Rural Digital Economy Research Hub into digital technologies in a bid to improve the delivery of services such as healthcare and transport.

Professor John Farrington of the University of Aberdeen's School of Geosciences will be director of the centre.

He said that technology has a "key role to play" in helping rural areas to realise their economic potential.

Professor Farrington commented: "The Rural Digital Economy Research Hub based at the University of Aberdeen will develop advances in technology which have the potential to transform how people in rural communities live and work in the future."

The Aberdeen Rural Digital Economy Research Hub is one of three such centres in the UK to focus on digital technologies and is the only centre based in Scotland.

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