A village called Lyddington in Leicestershire has taken the unusual step of creating its own telecoms company, and offering residents speeds of up to 40Mbit/s.

The village raised £37,000 for the project, which is a joint venture between villagers upset with the slow speeds that were previously available and a local ICT company that resells BT's broadband. Other telecoms companies had dismissed the villages requests for better service as "uneconomical".

There are 200 homes in the village, and more than 50 have already signed up for the service, which has been named Rutland Telecom. The village has been approached by 40 other rural groups who want to do something similar in their own area, and is working on launching two similar schemes - one in a nearby village and one in Wales.

BT had no comment other than to say it was "delighted to help", and that it hoped Rutland Telecom would allow other companies access to its networks, in fear of a local monopoly developing.