For those of you that haven’t found what you’re looking for on our website, we’ve put together answers to some of the other frequently asked questions – just click on the relevant question below.

If you still don’t find your answer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Superfast Broadband - Frequently asked questions


So BT has won the contract to deliver fibre broadband in Northumberland – does this mean I have to use them as my internet service provider?

No. BT Openreach ( and its contractors are supplying and laying the fibre in the ground but this doesn’t mean you have to use BT as your internet service provider (ISP). You will be able to shop around for the best package to suit your needs from a wide range of providers who have access to the improved fibre network. Please use the ‘How much is it?’ section of our website to see the providers you could use. Please note however that choice of ISP is currently more limited via fibre to the premise (FTTP) services.

When fibre broadband becomes available in my area, will my broadband simply get faster without me taking any action?

It won’t. To get fibre broadband, you’ll need to place an order with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is because fibre broadband uses a different technology and an engineer may need to visit your premise to install the necessary equipment.

There are several ISPs offering fibre broadband in Northumberland so you can shop around to choose the package that’s best for you. If you are part way through a contract you may wish to contact your existing provider first to see what fibre package they can offer you. If you choose not to upgrade to fibre broadband, you’ll be able to continue using your existing broadband service as normal.

I’m in a fibre-enabled area but can’t get superfast broadband. Why not?

This can be due to one or more different factors.

  1. Your line may be connected to a roadside cabinet that has not yet been upgraded. As we progress through the rollout more and more cabinets will be upgraded. The ‘Can I access it?’ page will give you more information about your area.
  2. You may be served by what is known as an ‘exchange only’ line that is connected directly to the telephone exchange without an intervening green roadside cabinet. Please see the relevant question about exchange only lines.
  3. You may be on a line that is too long to support a superfast broadband connection from your local roadside cabinet. A significant number of these properties will however be able to order a fibre broadband service and benefit from improved broadband speeds up to 24 mbps.
  4. You may be in the approximately 5% of properties where fibre optic broadband won’t be achievable. We’re developing solutions to bring faster broadband to these areas using alternative technologies, including wireless broadband and satellite broadband systems.
  5. There may be capacity issues in your area meaning that new orders cannot be placed at this time. Click here for more details.

My line is connected directly to the exchange. Will I be able to get fibre broadband?

Exchange Only (EO) lines are connected directly to the local telephone exchange rather than passing through a green cabinet that can be upgraded with a fibre broadband connection. These lines are generally very close to the telephone exchange or very remote from it. There are cases where some EO lines may be fibre enabled, for example where an additional cabinet is built close to the exchange. It is not possible to upgrade all EO lines as part of the roll out so use the ‘Can I access it?’ page if you are unsure about the circumstances at your property.

Once I’ve placed my order for fibre broadband how long does it take to be installed and what is involved?

The time taken to install fibre broadband varies among Internet Service Providers. Typically it takes about two weeks for a fibre to the cabinet service, sometimes longer for a fibre to the premise service. An engineer may need to call at your property and install a new modem and you may receive a new router from your Internet Service Provider. In most cases, your other telephone and computer equipment does not need to be replaced.

Can I get involved?

Yes. iNorthumberland is keen that as many residents and businesses as possible are able to benefit from the faster broadband that is being provided. There may be scope for you to help in your local community by raising demand for broadband and helping those who have no experience with the internet to start using it. To discuss what you could do to help please email us at

Availability Checker

We are currently experiencing issues with the post code checker on our website. For an up to date view on plans for your area please email us.

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