MORPETH residents can get better connected as a super-fast broadband project is nearing its completion.
Thousands of businesses and households in the town are able to access broadband speeds of up to 40 megabits per second (Mb/s) now that BT’s local network business Openreach has installed a number of ‘street cabinets’.
This allows its fibre network to be faster because most people will be within a few hundred yards of these green structures.
With the copper network, speed depended on a property’s distance from an internet exchange so many people had a much lower connection rate than the 20 Mb/s maximum.
With much of the network in place, orders for the new broadband can now be taken in areas that are ready.
The remaining cabinets should go live by the end of December.
This project is part of BT’s commitment to deliver faster broadband speeds to more rural parts of the country.
Regional Partnership Director Simon Roberson said: “This has been a big logistical exercise for us because we needed to make sure that the equipment did not get in the way of footpaths or cause a blight on the landscape and we needed to work with electricity suppliers to power the electronics inside the cabinets.
“Households will be able to download music, films and games a tremendous amount faster and things will be a lot smoother than in the past.
He added: “This will make working from home a much more realistic proposition as well.”
“Businesses will be able to upload to the internet and transfer documents much more quickly.
“Some have told me that super-fast broadband will also allow them to have clear video conferences with other firms across the world.
“They can access digital media files at speeds of up to 10 Mb/s and previously they would be lucky to get one Mb/s.
“To get all this with the copper system, they would have had to spend thousands of pounds.
“And it will get even better for Morpeth next year, as we will be doubling the broadband speed to a maximum of 80 Mb/s.
“No more engineering works are involved, we will do this by transmitting the system at a higher frequency.”
For more information about switching over to fibre broadband and the different providers available, visit www.openreach-communications.co.uk/superfast