Villages in and around Rothbury can now get some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country – thanks to the completion of a new fibre network three months ahead of schedule.
Rothbury was the first community in the UK to go superfast using the Government’s Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF).
Funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, it is helping ensure that communities not covered by the existing roll-out of fibre broadband are not left behind in the race for high-speed internet access.
The Government has provided more than £400,000 to roll out superfast broadband across Rothbury, with BT chosen to build and deliver the infrastructure and network as well as making a significant financial investment towards the project. The roll-out is part of the county-wide iNorthumberland broadband programme which is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and BT.
Since the first fibre broadband street cabinet, on Station Road, went live in December last year, more than 1,665 homes and businesses in Rothbury, and nearby Thropton, Snitter and Cartington, have been given access to the new network.
Dan Rogerson, Environment Minister, said: “It is great to see rural communities like Rothbury achieve their target, not only on budget, but three months ahead of time.
“Thanks to our investment, local people can now access to some of the fastest speeds in the UK. This will bring huge benefits to everyone who lives and works in the area unlocking the economic potential of the town.”
Rothbury Coun Steven Bridgett said: “Rothbury really has been a huge success story for superfast broadband and that is in no small part down to the huge role residents played in helping to draw down the funds, ensuring that plans became a reality.
“Take-up since its installation has been much higher than predicted and we are now working with our partners to draw down the claw-back funds early and reinvest those funds to bring faster broadband into even more remote areas within our area. This will be a continual process for us and we have no intention in stopping yet.”