iNorthumberland, a partnership between Northumberland County Council and BT Group, have worked with the community of Detchant to provide residents with access to superfast fibre broadband.
Originally Detchant was not part of the iNorthumberland fibre roll out and the community therefore applied for fibre broadband through the Community Fibre Scheme. This scheme provides an opportunity for communities not currently in any fibre broadband plans to partner with Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, to get superfast broadband in their area. Working with the iNorthumberland team and the part of Openreach responsible for the iNorthumberland roll out it was possible to adapt planned work in the Belford area to ensure Detchant was included. As a result the community can now access download speeds of up to 80 Mbps, compared with previous speeds of under 2Mbps.
Malcolm Stanton, resident of Detchant said: “I’m very pleased to have had the assistance of iNorthumberland in bringing superfast broadband to Detchant. “The residents and businesses in the village are now able to access broadband speeds of up to 80 Mbps and we are very pleased with the significant improvement”
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said: “I am pleased we can announce that the residents of Detchant now have access to superfast fibre broadband. “Bringing superfast broadband to the area allows residents and businesses to access faster internet connections. Local businesses can benefit from this by using more online tools to grow and expand their business opportunities”
Superfast broadband has already been made available to over 55,000 premises across Northumberland. More than 55% of Northumberland businesses and households who are able to upgrade to the new technology have already chosen to do so, giving the county one of the highest take up figures in the UK.
Cllr Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services at Northumberland County Council, said: “Securing fibre broadband in more areas throughout Northumberland, such as Detchant, through the Community Fibre Scheme allows residents and businesses in more rural areas to access faster and more reliable connections, allowing greater adoption of digital services for rural residents and businesses.”
Mike Reynolds, senior project manager at Openreach said: “A solution for Detchant was enabled through key information sharing with both the local community and the iNorthumberland team. “Fibre broadband is transformative for home and business and it is great to see Detchant is now part of the superfast coverage story in Northumberland”.
BT Group was awarded the iNorthumberland contract in April 2013. A second phase contract was signed in June 2016, with a third phase contract agreed in March last year. More than £29 million is being invested in the programme area by Northumberland County Council, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund, BT Group and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Openreach’s network is open to all broadband service providers on an equal wholesale basis and so Northumberland households and businesses can benefit from highly competitive products and pricing from a range of providers.