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The government has announced £177,000 of investment to improve the provision of rural broadband services in Northern Ireland.

Part of the £1.9 million Broadband Fund, the money has been granted to two companies, North West Electronics and Net 1 Limited, both of which will roll out new infrastructure.

The Broadband Fund is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and also aims to support broadband technology trials in Northern Ireland.

Both North West Electronics and Net 1 Limited specialise in the provision of wireless broadband access in areas such as North Sperrin and Foyle Basin in County Londonderry and Augher and Lough Melvin in County Fermanagh.

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster said: "The fund allows such organisations as North West Electronics and Net 1 Limited to demonstrate the range of technologies that will prove critical in delivering next-generation broadband services.

"It is vital that higher-speed broadband services are made as widely available as possible across Northern Ireland."

Earlier this month, Informa Telecoms & Media suggested that mobile broadband is becoming more popular among users as a result of the gaps in coverage provided by fixed-line services.

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