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As many as 1,000 school pupils in the Manchester area are to receive free wireless broadband access in their homes, it has been reported.

Communications provider Pennine Telecom says it is working on a project to help low-income families gain web access to help support their children's learning.

According to ZDNet, the firm has completed the first stage of the project at Broad Oak Sports College in Bury.

Mark Sanders, chief executive of Bury Council, said the project is "all about bridging the digital divide so that young people in poorer areas don't fall behind".

He added: "We hope that it will help our students with both their educational achievements and their social networking opportunities."

Earlier this year, the government pledged to make 270,000 free laptops and broadband services available to poorer families.

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