HIGH-SPEED fibre broadband has gone live in Sidmouth as part of a £2.5billion roll-out by BT.

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More than 25,000 households and firms in the town, Exmouth and Collumpton are joining the revolution as engineers complete the investment in the coming weeks.

By the end of spring 2014 more than 296,000 Devon homes and businesses and more than 1.4 million premises across the South West will be able to benefit as a result of the programme.

BT is also working in partnership with the public sector to reach parts of the region that lie outside its commercial fibre broadband plans.

Jon Reynolds, the company’s South West regional director, said: “Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers.”

Ben Rhodes, chief executive of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “This is an important step forward. High-speed digital connectivity is a defining factor in our long-term success. Important developments such as BT’s investment in super-fast broadband offer us the potential to create new opportunities, services and growth.”

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