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Major broadband providers go head-to-head in UK countryside

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4G-BroadbandBroadband giants BT and EE have gone head-to-head in the UK countryside this week with separate rural network-themed announcements.

On Monday, EE launched a fixed wireless LTE service in Cumbria while BT revealed developments in its Superfast Cornwall project.

The Superfast Cornwall project, which BT Openreach CEO Liv Garfield declared as being at ‘the very forefront’ of broadband, has passed 82 per cent of premises and is on track to reach its target of 95 per cent by the end of 2014. The £132 million project now has 35,000 connections, which has risen from 20,000 back in March.

“It makes Cornwall the best-connected rural region in Europe,” says BT programme director Ranulf Scarborough, with evidence being presented that the superfast broadband connection is both creating and safeguarding jobs.

At the other end of the country, EE unveiled a fixed wireless LTE service in Cumbria, spanning 100 square miles, providing 2,000 homes and businesses with the service for the first time when it launches in December.

EE’s Chief Executive, Olaf Swantee, said: “Our goal is to enhance the digital lives of everyone in the UK and this major expansion of our superfast broadband service in one of the most rural and geographically challenging areas of the country is a big step towards that goal.

“There is a lot of work to do in 2014 to reach more people and businesses in rural areas, and investment-friendly government policies have an important role to play in supporting this, but today we have proven that 4G has the capability to connect this country’s unconnected.”