2013 upgrade for two towns

A major investment in north Northumberland will bring superfast broadband to 6,800 homes and businesses, it was announced this week.

On Tuesday, BT revealed that Alnwick and Amble are the latest communities to benefit as part of its £2.5billion roll-out of a fibre-optic broadband network, and are due to be upgraded in 2013.

The news was welcomed by Northumberland County Council, which said it would bring a boost for businesses, internet users and the local economy.

Roger Styring, the county council’s deputy leader, said: “I welcome the news of BT’s further investment into Northumberland’s superfast broadband fibre-optic network.

“This, and previous telephone exchange upgrades, will make a considerable contribution to the regeneration of our county’s economy, and will hopefully help equalise the competitive disadvantage that we presently experience.

“I look forward to the day when businesses and residents of these latest upgraded areas are able to take advantage of the huge benefits that this advanced technology brings.”

Kenneth Jorgensen, Alnwick’s digital champion, said: “This is brilliant news for the town. The first hurdle has now been achieved.

“The campaign is far from over as we now need to establish which areas of the town get it first and the best way to determine that is to look at where the interest is highest. So we still need people to register.

“We can now also start to focus the campaign more on educating about the benefits of superfast broadband.

“I would also like to thank the Gazette for being such a great supporter of the campaign.”

Farooq Hakim, BT’s North East regional director, said: “This latest major investment will help Northumberland to overcome the current economic challenges and take full advantage of the upturn when it comes.”