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Villagers in a remote Cumbrian community are taking the unusual step of installing their own next-generation broadband infrastructure, it has been reported.

Alston Moor – described by locals as being 'England's last wilderness' – is to be hooked up to high-speed broadband after locals decided to dig their own trenches and lay the necessary cables.

The Times reports how broadband speeds of up to 20Mb will be available in the area within months, eventually rising to 100Mb.

Community development worker Daniel Heery, 38, started the project in 2002 after BT decided it was "unviable" to provide basic broadband access to the area.

He helped establish Cybermoor, the UK's first broadband co-operative, initially seeking government funding and the help of local people.

Using rudimentary equipment, cottages which did not even have a phone line were able to access up to 0.2Mb broadband, rising to 10Mb as the project ensued.

Mr Heery explained: "It cost about £350 per household for the equipment and £65 for the connection."

Fast-forward to 2009, and Alston Moor could be showing the way for other broadband 'not-spots' around the UK.

Last week, Plymouth Chamber of Commerce chief executive David Parlby claimed that next-generation broadband is crucial to the city's future, as reported by the Plymouth Herald.

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