Superfast project is reaping benefits all over

Andy Dennis from Steppey Lane, Lesbury, who works remotely for Microsoft.
Andy Dennis from Steppey Lane, Lesbury, who works remotely for Microsoft.

Businesses included in the first phase of a project to take superfast fibre broadband across Northumberland are already feeling the benefits.

The iNorthumberland broadband programme is delivered by Arch, The Northumberland Development Company and BT and is bringing superfast broadband to at least 91 per cent of homes and businesses in Northumberland by December 2015.

Jon Monks.'Health walks, healthy walks,  shepherds walks

Jon Monks.'Health walks, healthy walks, shepherds walks

Shepherd’s Walks is just one of the local businesses taking advantage of this new generation of faster, more reliable broadband.

The award-winning, Rothbury-based company offers bespoke and guided walking tours across Northumberland and North East England.

Owner Jon Monks said: “When I first founded Shepherd’s Walks in 1999, I was more used to shepherding sheep around the hills than people.

“As the company grew in popularity, we started attracting an increasing number of international visitors. Online marketing and communication has played a significant part in that growth and has made the company what it is today.

“When we heard fibre broadband was coming to Rothbury, we knew we had to move. Rothbury is an ideal geographical base for us and superior broadband meant we could grow the business online and increase our marketing reach.

“We moved to Rothbury a year ago and we are so pleased we did. Not only are we in a better position to host larger groups, the superfast broadband speeds have changed the way we do business.

“We can now have three or more people in the office uploading images, talking to customers and sharing files online at the same time.

“Being a bit of a technology fan and running a rural-based business, broadband speeds have caused me a lot of headaches and frustration over the years.

“Since I founded this business 15 years ago, I’ve never been more satisfied or happy with my broadband capability as I am now.”