Corridor Manchester launches broadband pilot

Corridor Manchester, the regeneration partnership for the area around Oxford Street south of Manchester city centre, will pilot the next generation of broadband data connections with a £500,000 project funded by the North West Development Agency.

The project will directly connect 500 businesses and 1,000 homes in the Oxford Road area with fibre optic lines which will increase broadband speeds by up to 100 times than they are now.

Coordinated by Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA) the tender notice will be published next week. It is expected that the work to install the fibre will begin in the summer, with the first cluster of properties online by the end of the year.

Sir Richard Leese, leader, Manchester City Council, said: "Even at this time of economic downturn Manchester has ambitious plans for its knowledge economy. We are committed to delivering Digital Britain and next generation broadband, and this new advanced infrastructure will help create exciting innovative new applications for the Internet which will benefit our residents and businesses."

Jackie Potter, chief executive, Corridor Manchester, said: "One of the key aims for Corridor Manchester is to drive economic growth in the Oxford Road area of the city. By providing high speed broadband we can not only help the universities, schools and hospital network enhance their services but also attract new businesses to the city."

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