Net gain for thousands more homes

The leader of Northumberland County Council Jeff Reid visiting the BT Exchange in Blyth where they are putting in fibre broadband.  He is with Operational Manager Assistant Jonathan Robson.
The leader of Northumberland County Council Jeff Reid visiting the BT Exchange in Blyth where they are putting in fibre broadband. He is with Operational Manager Assistant Jonathan Robson.

MORE than 15,000 homes and businesses in Blyth have been provided with high-speed fibre-optic broadband as part of a £2.5bn investment by BT.

That will take the number of properties in the town with access to fibre broadband to around 79,000 by spring next year.

Bedlington has already been upgraded, and Ashington is set to follow suit later this year.

Faroog Hakim, BT’s regional director for the north east, said: “The advent of fibre broadband in Blyth is a massive fillip for businesses and households in the area.

“It will enrich people’s lives and bring a much-needed boost to businesses in these economically challenging times.”

BT’s local network business, Openreach, aims to make the high-speed technology available to around two thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014.

It will use a mix of fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises technologies, both of which offer faster speeds than those currently available to many homes and businesses.

Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell said: “It is great to see the super-fast broadband footprint spreading across Northumberland.

“High-speed digital connectivity is essential if our businesses are to compete effectively and protect and create jobs.

“This latest boost will also help residents realise the full power and potential of the internet.

“I welcome the investment by BT here in Blyth, resulting in upgrades which are fundamentally important for so many aspects of life for my constituents.”

Northumberland County Council leader Jeff Reid, also ward councillor for Plessey in Blyth, added: “Technology is a wonderful thing, and it is great to see that BT is investing in Blyth.”

“It will be good for the residents, the economy and for the county council.”