Over £2 million in matched funding is coming to save rural Northumberland broadband.
From the bridges of Berwick-upon-Tweed to the Cocklawburn Cliffs, the county exudes a rugged, windblown charm. This is sadly not matched by the quality of its broadband infrastructure.
So if you’re enchanted by living in the beautiful wilds of Northumberland but afraid of crappy broadband then this news from BT will be right up your street.
A joint project by iNorthumberland, the body that introduces superfast broadband to local communities, BT and Northumberland County Council will give the area a £2.2m cash injection.
Up to 2,000 homes and businesses could benefit from the funding.
I am really pleased that we have been able to agree the funding for this scheme, and to get the ball rolling for a number of communities who are geared up to sign contracts, and get work underway.
We know that there is a high demand among households in these more hard to reach areas, and also that a number of businesses are struggling to sustain their current business models due to connectivity issues.- Cllr Nick Oliver: Northumberland County Council
By the end of 2017 iNorthumberland believe they will have delivered superfast broadband to 98% of homes in the county. As of September, that number currently stands at 93%.
How to bid for Northumberland broadband cash
Each community needs a nominated person or community organisation to apply. They’ll get a community fibre broadband quote from Openreach, and will be responsible for paying the community’s half of the money when the contract is agreed.
Villages that aren’t in any of Openreach’s current plans to install fast broadband networks can bid for matched fund cash. It’ll bring high-speed tech to some of the “most expensive and technically difficult to reach” areas, BT say.
The scheme offers up to £2,000 funding per premise for a superfast broadband connection or up to £2,500 for ultrafast – with a maximum per area limited to £100,000.
MAIN IMAGE: Royal Border Bridge, Berwick Upon Tweed, Jonathan Combe/Flickr