Get behind broadband bid

Lazy Grace.
Lazy Grace.
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Another forward-thinking business based in north Northumberland has expressed frustration at the limitations of slow broadband.

Lazy Grace is a web developer and design studio based in Rothbury and businesses like this, that are keeping jobs in rural areas, are part of why the Gazette launched a campaign to back the county’s bid for superfast broadband.

Lazy Grace’s Ian McAllister said: “As a modern, forward-thinking design agency who operate predominantly within the internet arena, it is of huge frustration to both us and our clients when the speed of our connection is so slow that it takes twice as long to upload websites, download images and perform even the smallest of jobs.

“We took the decision to locate our offices in Rothbury rather than Newcastle for a number of reasons; we wanted to retain the business’s rural base in the place where it started, we wanted to be able to cycle to work through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world and we wanted the quality of life that Northumberland offers.

“In an industry that claims to think differently, we are actually forced to do so. The road networks can be fickle, depending on the weather and recruitment is often a lengthy process.

“So, why oh why do we have to campaign for an acceptable internet speed when the rest of the country gets it as standard?

“We market regional businesses on an international platform and have produced promotional videos that have gone viral. We sometimes wonder how much more we could do with a faster internet speed.”

Last week, however, there was a double dose of positive news .

First, Defra announced that five funding bids, which could bring in around £3.6million with private sector match funding, had made it through to the full applicationstage. The bids cover Felton, Coquetdale, North Tyne and Redesdale, including Kielder and Otterburn, Hexhamshire and Riding Mill.

Then BT revealed that it would be extending its superfast broadband roll-out to Alnwick and Amble in 2013, benefitting 6,800 premises.