Alnmouth area residents urged to signal interest in ultrafast broadband

Alnmouth residents and businesses are being urged to help secure better broadband.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 5:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 2:40 pm

Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, is mailing local addresses with an invitation to fill in an online questionnaire.

It is estimated that around 100 households need to sign up.

“There is government funding available to bring full fibre to the community and we have launched a scheme for Alnmouth and a number of other areas which is demand led,” explained Louise Thompson of Openreach at a meeting of Alnmouth Parish Council.

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Alnmouth.

Those registering their interest in improving their connections would be allocated £1,500 per household and £3,500 per small/medium business, which would be paid to the supplier.

“We need 100% of pledges through the portal,” said Louise. “Residents have also had a postcard through the door.

"Once we get to 100% of the total needed to bring the fibre in we will go ahead and build that network to cover everyone in that area.

"We don’t need everybody to pledge, just enough to cover 100% of the total cost.”

Cllr Simon Walford, who said the broadband speed in Alnmouth is about 65Mbps, added: “We want as many people as possible to sign up and pledge their vouchers to get the best possible result. I thought it was too good to be true but as far as I can see it isn’t.”

Openreach have looked at several areas within Northumberland where they are running a demand-led scheme.

Sylvia Pringle of iNorthumberland said: “There is a fantastic opportunity here for openreach to put full fibre in that would be gigabit capable speeds.

“We have no influence over where they choose but obviously, as the county council, we are very keen for as many areas of Northumberland as possible to get full fibre.”

Bamburgh was chosen initially and there was a good response from the local community.

The next area to be selected by Openreach is Lesbury and around the Foxton area and Alnmouth including Steppey Lane, Hipsburn and up to Buston as well.

The average UK broadband speed is 64Mbps.

Participants can pledge their Rural Gigabit Voucher at https://www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity

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