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Openreach has praised communities that are not covered by existing broadband investment plans for their efforts to improve connectivity.

In 2009, Christine Conder, who lives in rural Cumbria, purchased 1km of fibre optic cables and dug them into the ground around her farm, with the help of volunteers.

After setting up not-for-profit group Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN), she then convinced residents of neighbouring parishes to raise money to lay their own broadband lines in 2011.

Approximately 4,000 homes in Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire are now signed up and receive broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbps, well above the national average of 36Mbps.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, BT's infrastructure subsidiary Openreach said: "Schemes like B4RN should be commended. 

"We're delivering more than 500 similar community projects to upgrade areas that aren't covered by existing investment plans."

Ms Conder noted that each B4RN customer pays a £150 connection fee and £30 a month, regardless of whether they are located in a village or at the top of a mountain.

Furthermore, she said people only have to give a month's notice if they are moving or wish to cancel.

"B4RN has brought life back to the Valley," Ms Conder continued.

"We've been able to employ young lads who couldn't find work and were going to leave the area.

"Young ones at university who were reluctant to visit their parents because they couldn't keep in touch with their friends are returning home now."

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