Broadband programme’s big milestone

The county’s superfast broadband initiative has now passed the half-way mark.

Since the Duchess of Northumberland launched the first fibre broadband cabinet to ‘go live’ last January, iNorthumberland has reached about 34,000 premises.

Homes and businesses in communities the length and breadth of the county are taking advantage of the benefits high-speed fibre broadband brings – with speeds of up to 80Mbps on offer.

The programme is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and BT, which was awarded the contract after a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework.

Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have been keeping busy. They have clocked up thousands of man hours and laid more than 14,000km of optical fibre in around 225 kilometres of underground cable.

Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of the county council, said: “The iNorthumberland programme is already having a huge impact on the area. Residents and businesses across the county keep telling us how much of a difference it is making to be able to access high-speed broadband.

“I can’t believe we are already half-way through the project.”

As well as the council and BT, funding for the project has come from BDUK and the European Regional Development Fund and iNorthumberland recently secured money from the Government’s Superfast Extension Plan, which will be used to further extend coverage in some areas not included in the current roll-out plans.

For up-to-date information on available business support and the roll-out, visit www.inorthumberlandbusiness.co.uk or www.inorthumberland.org.uk