Northumberland County Council has welcomed a £7.8million grant to boost digital connectivity in rural communities. This is a project I have been closely involved in and it’s great to see it progressing – it’s not so long ago that word reached from London that our bis was no longer being considered. I lobbied hard to reverse this decision and with great support from Guy Oppermand and Anne-Marie Trevelyan we were eventually successful.
The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) made the bid to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for the investment from the Local Full Fibre Networks Programme. The funding will pay for the rollout of gigabit fibre internet connections to public buildings across Northumberland, improving the speed and reliability of digital connectivity to these sites. Some council buildings are already reaping the benefits. Five rural schools in Northumberland have already gained connection to full-fibre internet, that boasts download speeds of up to 1000 Mb/s. Bringing the very best fibre techonology to these locations also brings access to the fastest broadband to local residents and businesses – we expect 6,400 to have access via this scheme.