Broadband bid continues apace

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A large amount of progress in the battle for superfast broadband in Northumberland earlier this year does not mean the fight is over.

While a number of communities in north Northumberland have had good news, it is not the case across the board and residents still need to ensure they register their demand for superfast broadband in their area.

The county council’s iNorthumberland campaign is encouraging as many residents and businesses as possible to register interest online at www.inorthumberland.org.uk or by filling in paper forms that can be found in libraries and other council buildings.

And earlier this month, the villages of Alnmouth, Hipsburn and Lesbury held a broadband meeting to allow residents to learn more and to encourage people to register their support.

John Wright, chairman of Lesbury Parish Council, who organised the meeting, said: “It was an excellent meeting, attended by more than 30 people.

“There was a presentation by John Cooper (iNorthumberland’s digital engagement manager), who gave a full and comprehensive report with a question and answer session at the end.

“Everyone seemed to be fully informed as to the next stage, which is to get as many people as possible to sign up and register interest.

“We are going to arrange another meeting in October for the residents of Alnmouth and Lesbury when there will be further information.

“The feeling after the meeting was that it was worthwhile and beneficial.”

However, one local businesswoman was concerned that it still seemed to be the case that a number of people don’t understand the need or benefits of better broadband, despite the efforts of the iNorthumberland campaign and the Northumberland Gazette.

In terms of the campaign for superfast broaband in the communities of Alnmouth, Lesbury and Hipsburn, there is cause for optimism, as the exchange lies between Alnwick and Amble, both of which are due to be upgraded this year through commercial investment by BT.