By Daniel Hunter

Businesses and homes in rural areas of Cheshire have been given a boost with the announcement of a £28.5 million project promising high-speed fibre broadband.

80,000 rural premises in Cheshire will get broadband over the next three years as part of the Connecting Cheshire scheme.

BT said it should take the number of homes and businesses in Cheshire with access to broadband speeds of up to 80mbps to 400,000, or 96% of premises in the county. The average UK speed is 11mbps.

The company expects premises in the remaining 4% to also see an uplift, as the project aims to deliver a minimum of 2mbps or more to almost all homes and businesses.

“The award of this contract to BT marks the end of a comprehensive process to secure the best broadband deal for Cheshire. The four councils across Cheshire are committed to providing reliable high-speed fibre broadband for both our home and business users," Cllr David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said.

"From children doing homework to caring for our elderly population and from social media, to e-commerce and home entertainment — fast broadband is the critical enabler. The social, environmental and economic benefits will be huge, making Cheshire one of the best connected regions in the country.”

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