16/03/2015

Super-fast broadband has arrived in Riding Mill, iNorthumberland.

More than 400 homes and businesses in the village now have access to the high-speed, fibre technology. To upgrade to fibre click here.

Anne Dale, councillor for Broomhaugh, Stocksfield and Mickley, said: “This is great news for everyone living and working in Riding Mill. The community understood many years ago why improved broadband connectivity in Riding Mill was so important and actively campaigned to help make this happen. The fact that fibre broadband is now available to everyone in the village is fantastic.

“There is more to do, more homes and businesses in rural areas to get online and I will keep working with iNorthumberland to help make that happen, but it is fantastic to see the positive impact of faster broadband speeds as they roll-out across the county.”

Cllr Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The iNorthumberland roll-out of fibre broadband is advancing across the County with Riding Mill just one of the many places to benefit in recent weeks.

“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. Whether it’s shopping, downloading music and video, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework, once you’ve switched to fibre you’ll never look back. There is also huge potential for local firms to put themselves on the global map with an effective online presence.”

More than 30 orders have already been placed for the new technology in the first few days of the service being live and demand continues to grow as more and more local people opt for the sophisticated fibre technology, which can see their speeds increase to up to 80Mbps.

Bringing high-speed fibre broadband to Riding Mill was a major engineering operation involving the laying of ten kilometres of underground duct and cable. A new fibre broadband cabinet was built near the Wellington Hotel. Previously, all properties in the village were served by telephone lines running straight from the phone exchange to homes and businesses rather than via a street cabinet so a completely new cabinet was installed to enable the village to benefit from the upgrade. To do so, engineers had to build a further 73 of metres of underground duct and make a diversion to avoid a large concrete plinth, which was discovered under the footway.

Simon Roberson, BT’s regional partnership director for the North East, said: “To build a fibre optic broadband network on this scale is a massive undertaking and iNorthumberland is making fantastic progress.

“Homes and businesses in dozens of communities can now find out for themselves why there’s such a buzz about fibre broadband and I would urge people in Riding Mill to go and meet the team or check with their internet service provider to see what is on offer.”

The iNorthumberland broadband programme, a key part of the council’s growth investment, is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and BT. BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. The company is contributing £2.9 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas with Northumberland County Council investing £7 million plus its £7 million share of BDUK funds. The remaining £2 million is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF funding will be used to enable fibre connections for more than 2,600 small and medium sized businesses in Northumberland.

iNorthumberland recently secured funding 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.

The majority of premises in Northumberland will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds in the UK via iNorthumberland and the commercial roll-out of fibre by BT’s local network business, Openreach. Openreach’s network will be open to all broadband service providers on an equal wholesale basis and so Northumberland households and businesses will benefit from highly competitive products and pricing.

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