Residents of a Kent village have secured a £13,000 grant from the local council in a bid to get broadband access in the area.

The funding was used by BT to supplement its own investment and will ensure that by autumn all 1,400 homes in the village of Iwade will have access to a fibre broadband connection that offers speeds of 'up to' 40Mbps, instead of the existing 2Mbps or less.

BT is investing £2.5bn into next-generation broadband to ensure that two thirds of the UK will have access to fibre internet by 2015. However, the ISP said initially the village did not feature in its roll-out plans "as the commercial case for deploying fibre in less densely populated areas is very challenging".

The funding from the council allowed BT to deploy additional cables from the exchange at nearby Sittingbourne, which has already been upgraded to offer fibre broadband.

"BT has already announced plans to bring fibre broadband to two thirds of UK homes and businesses by 2015 but we want to do more if we can. Our partnership with Iwade is a great example of this and we're very keen to work with other parts of the country on similar projects," said Steve Robertson, CEO of BT Openreach.

BT also said it is keen to work with other public sector bodies across the UK to ensure rural areas of the country that can't currently get broadband access are given next-generation net connections.

"Local homes and businesses are relying more and more on broadband internet services. The faster connections offered by fibre broadband will allow local people to get even more out of their broadband connection," added Nicola McKenzie, broadband committee co-ordinator for Iwade Parish Council.

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