iNorthumberland to demonstrate the benefits of fibre broadband to local residents and businesses

Superfast broadband has arrived in Widdrington Station, Ulgham, Hadston, Broomhill and Red Row, iNorthumberland announced today.

Almost 3000 homes and businesses in these communities now have access to the high-speed, fibre technology and members of the iNorthumberland team will be visiting the area to explain why faster broadband is such good news.

Councillor David Ledger, chairman of Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, and deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We are well on target with rolling out superfast broadband across Northumberland, but we know many people still have questions about what it means for them – both residents and businesses.

“This is a great opportunity for people living in these communities to meet the team and find out more.

“Not everyone appreciates the huge benefits that fibre-optic broadband can bring to both consumers and businesses. And there are now more than 140 broadband providers offering services over the new Openreach high-speed network, which generates competition, which in turn means high speed broadband is cheaper than you might think.”

County councillor Scott Dickinson, who represents the Druridge Bay ward, said: “More and more of our lives are conducted online whether it is for shopping, learning, access to health care and other public services or even to search and apply for jobs. In an increasingly digital world fibre broadband is becoming as important as utilities like electricity and water.

“The upgrade does not happen automatically, to benefit you need to contact one of the broadband suppliers to upgrade to the new service. More information about how to do this can be found on the iNorthumberland website.”

The iNorthumberland team will be at the library in Widdrington Station on August 6, between 3pm and 5pm and at Hadston House on August 8 between 10am and noon.

The iNorthumberland broadband programme is delivered by Arch, Northumberland County Council and BT. BT 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 the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme. The remaining £2 million is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The majority of premises will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds boosting the competitiveness of local firms and offering new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents.

Fibre is transforming internet use within the home, from communicating with family and friends to entertainment, shopping and online gaming.

Fibre broadband means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds.

It will also improve access to new job opportunities, and make it easier to shop around for cheaper services. The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.

Farooq Hakim, BT’s regional director for the North East, said: “To build a fibre optic broadband network on this scale is a massive undertaking. While, of course, this won’t happen overnight we are making excellent progress.

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

iNorthumberland is working hard to provide the best connectivity possible for areas not currently featured in the roll-out plans, within the funding available.

For up to date information visit www.inorthumberland.org.uk follow @my_broadband on Twitter or find ‘iNorthumberland’ on Facebook or email enquiries@archdigital.co.uk .


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