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'Faster broadband will help Leicestershire economy' says BT managing director

A BT managing director believes the new deal for faster internet in Leicestershire will help local businesses.

Faster broadband will help unlock rural Leicestershire's economic potential. The Leicestershire economy, especially in rural areas predominantly consists of small and micro businesses.

A large number are self-employed, work from home and are in the creative, knowledge based sectors which need high speed broadband and will provide the driving force for the county's digital economy.

– Bill Murphy, BT's managing director of Next Generation Access

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Deal for faster internet in Leicestershire

Leicestershire homes and businesses can expect faster broadband speeds Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Homes and businesses across Leicestershire will have faster broadband because of a £17 million deal between the county council and BT.

It should mean 95 per cent of homes and businesses in the county will have quicker internet access within three years.

Stoke-on-Trent city council explains methane extraction plans: 'To be absolutely clear, this is not fracking'

We are tapping into a traditional resource for the benefit of the people of Stoke-on-Trent and indeed methane from coal mines has powered industry in the city for decades, so this is nothing new.....

.....The methane here is contained in unused coal mines which contain natural fissures so there is no need to fracture the rocks to get it out. This use of energy provides a stable, local source and it uses less energy than importing gas too....

.....This is only one of a number of technologies we are looking at.

– Councillor Andy Platt, Stoke-on-Trent City Council Cabinet Member

Frack Off speak out over Stoke-on-Trent methane extraction plans

A spokesperson from campaign group Frack Off has described the extraction of coal bed methane as "as big a deal - if not bigger - than shale gas".

On their website the group describe it as "Shale Gas's less well known but equally destructive sibling in 'the family' of extreme energy methods". Extraction involves drilling into the rock formation containing the gas, sometimes adding stimulation like water or air to obtain the methane.

The group claim the closer proximity to the surface of the drilling increases risk of water contamination and methane leaks.

They say 12 planning applications have been approved in the UK for shale gas extraction, and 70 approved for coal bed methane.

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Councillors and business leaders support gas extraction

For many years, methane from disused coal mines in and around Stoke-on-Trent has been captured and sold to the market. Preliminary research suggests that there are supplies of gas from un-mined coal - known as coal bed methane - that could also be extracted.

– Councillor Andy Platt, cabinet member for green enterprise, Stoke-on-Trent City Council

The council claim that local businesses and communities could benefit from locally-sourced energy.

We rely on a consistent and secure supply of energy. Energy costs are a critical factor in our continued growth and the jobs and prosperity we generate for the city. The search for alternative local supplies and the use of coal bed methane would be a massive boost for us.

– Stephen Dixon, Chief Executive, Johnsons Tiles

Council looks to coalbed gas to fuel future growth

Stoke-on-Trent city council is investigating the potential of extracting methane from disused coal beds in a bid to supply local businesses and communities with locally sourced power.

Gas from disused coal mines could provide Stoke-on-Trent with power Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

This announcement comes in addition to recent proposals to bring a host of new technologies to the local energy market including geo-thermal hot water, biomass and solar power.

Councillors hope that the city will benefit from cheaper energy prices and the creation of thousands of new jobs.

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