Map shows how county will be better connected

A USEFUL tool has been unveiled for residents and businesses just six months after the signing of a £18.9million deal between BT and the county council to bring fibre broadband to 95 per cent of Northumberland.

The newly-created map demonstrates where and when communities throughout the county can expect the high-speed technology to arrive.

It shows areas already able to get fibre broadband commercially and those due to be connected by the end of March 2014.

The document also highlights areas scheduled for connection by the end of 2014 and the end of 2015 respectively under the iNorthumberland programme, although it is for early, indicative purposes only and it is not accurate to premise or postcode level.

Coun Allan Hepple, policy board member responsible for regeneration at the county council, said: “Superfast broadband is extremely important to the economic future of Northumberland.

“This map provides a visual summary of how we expect the project to develop across the county and we look forward to working closely with Arch, through iNorthumberland, to bring faster broadband speeds to even more communities.”

The remaining five per cent of premises will also see faster speeds as the project aims to deliver 2Mbps or more to all homes and businesses.

From May this year, delivery of the scheme became the responsibility of Arch, the county council’s private-sector arms-length development company. In total, 660km of fibre will be laid by Openreach, BT’s local network business.

Residents and businesses can check the map by visiting www.inorthumberland.org.uk/my-area