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The new community broadband initiative launched in Rutland this month could be followed in other areas of the countryside, it has been claimed.

Rutland Telecom recently became the first group to set up a self-financed programme for the provision of rural super-fast broadband.

The village of Lyddington raised £37,000, enabling the internet service provider to deliver the UK’s first ever broadband service from a BT street cabinet, using a process called subloop unbundling.

Commenting on the service, David Lewis, Managing Director of Rutland Telecom, suggested it might be a sign of things to come.

"You need to be local, smallish, and specialised to achieve it because you have to talk to the local community," he said.

"There had been a demand for [high-speed broadband] based on the hundreds of inquiries we have had. There is pent-up demand. People want to live in beautiful rural locations, but one of the main things they haven't got is fast internet."

Mr Lewis noted that the Rutland scheme is both sustainable and economically viable, but needs local intensive attention by a specialist operator.

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