Broadband bid reaches major milestone in county

THE campaign to bring superfast broadband to every property in Northumberland by 2020 has reached a milestone.

Since November, the county council-led iNorthumberland campaign has asked every resident and business across the county to support the scheme.

And the number of properties that have registered their support is now up to 10,000 – 12 per cent of all the premises in the county.

With compelling evidence of demand throughout the area, the project team hopes to secure more funding and encourage the market to step in to help the most isolated homes and businesses.

The focus is on the number of individual premises because this is the figure that commercial providers will look at when they prepare their business case to bring faster connections to Northumberland.

Community Engagement Officer John Cooper said: “Since last autumn, we have distributed more than 20,000 registration postcards throughout the county’s libraries and customer service centres. We’ve spoken at many events, written to the parents of every school-aged child and worked with local people to deliver leaflets into many homes.

“A total of 10,000 is a great number for us to hit. This is the total number of individual properties we have registered support from, but if we counted the number of individual people who have got behind the campaign, the number would be far higher.

“We may have hit this number, but we still have a way to go to reach more and more people.

“We have recently launched a campaign aimed at businesses throughout the county and we’re looking to recruit a network of voluntary digital champions who can focus the campaign on a local level.

“People have really got behind iNorthumberland and there can be no doubt that Northumberland wants superfast broadband connections.”

For more information about the campaign, or if you are interested in becoming a digital champion, call Mr Cooper on 01670 623415 or visit www.inorthumberland.org.uk