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Lacock to get high speed internet, as world of Candleford and Cranford gets modernised

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 24, 2014

Lacock – home of TV series such as Cranford – is next in line for high speed broadband Picture: Clare Green

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For a century-and-a-half the concept of a faster form of communication in the fictional idyllic Cotswold market town of Candleford meant Thomas the postman pumping up the tyres on his bike.

But now, the village and countryside that provided the backdrop for the TV version of Flora Thompson's classic novels, is being brought very much into the 21st century.

Neston and its country estate near Corsham in Wiltshire, was chosen by BBC execs because it had changed so little from the 1890s, when Larkrise to Candleford was set, and four series of the hit programme were filmed there.

Now Neston – along with the nearby village-cum-period film set that is Lacock – have been included on a new list of the next communities in Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire to benefit from the country's first rural roll-out of superfast broadband.

The two councils used Government grants to strike a deal with BT to provide the beefed up internet connection, and as market towns across the area begin to reap the benefits, now villages are getting involved.

As well as Lacock, Neston and its nearby hamlet of Hawthorn, south Wiltshire villages of Porton, Idmiston, Gomeldon, Broad Chalke, East and West Grinstead and Pitton are included, as is the communities of Westwood and Avoncliff, near Bradford on Avon and Wilton, near Salisbury.

Last month, Royal Wootton Bassett became the first town in the county to benefit from the scheme, and more are being switched on every week.

"We have invested significantly in this scheme and it's great to announce more communities that will have access to this vital service," said county council chief John Thomson.

"Superfast broadband will also provide a huge boost to local businesses and will make Wiltshire an even more attractive county to set up business in.

"We look to forward to announcing more communities who will benefit in the very near future," he added.

The increased broadband allows users to download live streaming television and is a boon for businesses.

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