Make sure the rural north gets superfast

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Superfast broadband is crucial for the future of north Northumberland, and today we launch a push to make sure that we don’t miss out.

The Government has provided funding, to be boosted by money from councils and the private sector, and set ambitious targets for coverage by 2015, but north Northumberland, in particular, offers geographical challenges.

People need to sign up and register their interest so that the county can demonstrate the demand for superfast broadband from individuals, families and businesses.

Coun Roger Styring, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The council launched the iNorthumberland campaign last autumn to lead on the county-wide agenda to deliver superfast broadband into every home, school and business by 2020.

“For many of our communities, the current standard of internet connection is simply not good enough and this council sees it as a high priority to ensure better broadband for all as soon as possible.”

The iNorthumberland campaign recently received its 10,000th registration, which represents 12 per cent of all the premises in the county, but more are needed.

Digital champions are being recruited to reach out in their area and Kenneth Jorgensen is taking on the role for Alnwick.

“It is important for people to think ahead. When we first campaigned for broadband eight years ago, many said ‘we don’t need it’. Now we can hardly live without it. The same will happen again,” he said.

North Northumberland MP Sir Alan Beith said: “Broadband is not a luxury – this is about getting essential infrastructure in place for our future, just as we had to push to get mains electricity out to rural locations in the past.

“Whether you use the internet for business, working from home, education or leisure, a fast connection and reliable service should be available to everyone, no matter where they live.”

To register your interest, with no commitment, go to www.inorthumberland.org.uk/i-want/ and fill in the form.