A north Northumberland village has become the first in the UK to be connected to superfast broadband using cash from the Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF).
Rothbury was officially switched on to BT’s fibre-optic network by MP George Eustace, Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), on Monday.
The switch-on comes ahead of schedule and will meant that more than 370 homes and businesses in parts of the village can now benefit from high-speed internet from a broadband service provider of their choice.
From next week, fibre broadband will also become available to 167 premises in Thropton as their first fibre cabinet on Village Farm is also switched on.
More than £400,000 was secured from the RCBF to roll-out superfast broadband across Rothbury and BT was chosen to build and deliver the infrastructure and network.
BT is also making a significant financial investment towards the roll-out which is expected to reach 98 per cent of homes and businesses in Rothbury and the surrounding area by the end of March 2015.
Rothbury Coun Steven Bridgett said: “Our community showed a need and want for this and we grabbed the bull by the horns to make sure we were not left behind.”