Jobs boost for Alnwick as rural broadband improvement plan revealed

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Plans to connect a further 25,000 rural premises to full fibre have been announced by Alnwick-based Alncom.

The telecommunications company is investing in a 10gig capable fibre network that will provide hyperfast broadband to some of the hardest to reach properties.

Its full fibre rollout has already passed over 7,000 premises so far and the 1,000th fibre customer recently went live in the remote hamlet of Biddlestone in the Coquet Valley.

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Biddlestone resident Tony Dixon said: “We’ve suffered from poor, unreliable broadband for years and a number of companies have raised our hopes with false promises of a fibre connection. Alncom has actually done it and the transformation is unbelievable.”

Biddlestone resident Tony Dixon.Biddlestone resident Tony Dixon.
Biddlestone resident Tony Dixon.

As part of its contribution to digital inclusion, Alncom is also expanding network access to community premises by installing free fibre broadband into village halls.

Longframlington Village Hall became the 20th ‘Alncom Digital Hub’ this month and Alncom has plans to grow the scheme and further support digital transformation in rural communities by offering free training and IT events in these community hubs.

The growth has created new job opportunities and Alncom is recruiting locally for its in-house build teams, providing specialist training at its base in Alnwick. This month the 50th full-time staff member was employed with further job roles to be advertised in the future.

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Three new directors have also been appointed to strengthen the management team – Mike Surrey (MD of Railsite telecom), Rory Wilson (CEO of Northumberland Estates) and Dr Andrew Parry (MD of Project Advisors International).

Biddlestone, near Rothbury.Biddlestone, near Rothbury.
Biddlestone, near Rothbury.

Alncom managing director Stephen Pinchen said: “The need for reliable, high-speed broadband has never been more important. It is incredibly satisfying to see our plans coming to fruition and witness the positive impact this has had on our rural communities.”

Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary of State for International Trade, added “Alncom is a very important business in the area, providing job opportunities and improving broadband provision for many residents who may have had to wait a long period of time to be connected.

"I am so grateful for all the work they are putting into the infrastructure to make the hard to reach areas included.”