England

Broadband for two rural market towns

BT is to expand its super-fast broadband connection to two rural market towns in the West Midlands.

By spring 2012, 11,000 homes and businesses in Oswestry, Shropshire, and 9,000 in Stourport, Worcestershire, will have faster broadband.

It is part of the telecoms firm's £2.5bn fibre broadband roll-out.

Baschurch in Shropshire is also included in the programme after being one of the winners of BT's "Race to Infinity" challenge.

Communities were invited to vote in BT's Race to Infinity competition, with the most popular exchanges added to its roll-out.

Business needs

Shropshire Council said it was thrilled to be included in the programme, but there was still more work to be done.

The council's scrutiny committee chairman, Alan Moseley, said it was not just a rural issue.

"There are some areas of towns where people struggle to find an acceptable level of service, which is essential to run a business these days.

"We were not just concerned with access but with speeds too, as this is vital, particularly for many businesses," he said.

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