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Who are the champions of Broadband Britain?

...and what are they doing with their fat pipes?
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

...and what are they doing with their fat pipes?

Friday night saw the crowning of Britain's first Broadband Champions, with a glittering awards ceremony in London the culmination of a year-long search for the most commendable uses of high-speed internet access. The winners were as varied as they were innovative. Among those rewarded for their services to DSL were a 14-year-old schoolgirl and website designer, a 22-year-old entrepreneur who runs a multilingual web-based translation service, a scheme to connect all public libraries to the web and a television company providing real-time online signing for the deaf. There was also an award for a Local Hero, Pete Berry, for his work with the Broadband4Grimsby campaign group, which co-ordinates local demand for high-speed internet access with a view to hitting trigger levels for broadband enablement on local exchanges. Philippa Winterburn, head of broadband marketing at BT Wholesale, who called the winners "an inspiration" to the rest of the country, said: "The quality and sheer variety of entries received show that Britain is embracing the high speed benefits of DSL broadband." Stephen Timms, UK ecommerce minister, speaking at the event, praised the spread of broadband in the UK, winning friends when he told the London audience that broadband adoption in Britain has now surpassed France, though revellers were soon brought crashing down to earth by news that the UK still has some way to go before it catches Germany. However, Timms pledged £1m of government money to the cause, to be invested in Broadband Britain over the next three years. Full list of winners: Education: National Champion - Semple Piggot Rochez, London
Semple Piggot Rochez is a law firm recognised for its pioneering internet-based law training programmes. With the help of DSL broadband provided by Mistral, it has recently established the world's first online law degree programmes. Education Sector (Schools): Belfast Model School for Girls
Paula Leitch uses DSL broadband to run the school which is an all-ability secondary school located in North Belfast. DSL broadband, supplied by BT, allows her to teach pupils new curriculum courses and to run an after school homework club for revision purposes. Not for Profit Sector: Democratic Dialogue, Belfast
A think-tank organisation dedicated to the continuing challenge of political, social and economic environment in Northern Ireland. Through DSL broadband technology provided by BT Openworld, Democratic Dialogue can quickly download documents, conduct research and communicate with its many members. Public Sector: Highlands and Islands Arts Journal, Inverness
An arts company using Demon Broadband services from Thus to communicate information, training and opportunities to both the arts sector and to audiences throughout Scotland and across the rest of the world. Business Sector (up to 250 employees): Tyne Tees Television, Newcastle
The website www.signpostbsl.com is the only fully bilingual British sign language website in the world. DSL broadband is provided by internet service provider, K Class.
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