Broadband boost for the county

THIS week’s Government announcement that Northumberland will receive more than £7million to support the provision of next-generation broadband marks a welcome start to delivering essential communications infrastructure into some of the county’s more challenging geographies.

As BT’s regional director for the North East, I welcome the Government’s pledge to bring faster broadband to rural areas.

BT has announced plans to invest £2.5billion in rolling out super-fast, fibre-based broadband to two-thirds of the UK on its own, but this isn’t the full extent of our ambition.

We want to work with public sector bodies and business organisations to reach the final third, which is mainly made up of rural, less-populated areas where the engineering challenges and costs are considerably greater.

I believe that BT is well placed to play a key role in the development of Northumberland’s communications, based on our experience in upgrading all our exchanges in the county with first-generation broadband and rolling out networks across the county that are both open to others and sustainable.

This experience and our proven partnership approach, which is already bringing super-fast broadband to rural areas such as Cornwall and Northern Ireland, are important factors if we are all to benefit from competition and the resulting low prices.

With more than 470 BT employees living and working across Northumberland, my regional board colleagues and I look forward to working with local communities and organisations, developing proposals to support the county vision for faster broadband services to our rural areas.

Chris Sayers

BT Regional Director,

North East