HOMES and businesses in Ashington, Bedlington and Blyth are set to benefit from super-fast broadband as part of a major expansion of BT’s roll-out plans.
The two towns, as well as others in the north east, are the latest places included in the company’s £2.5bn roll-out of fibre broadband.
It will take the number of north east homes and businesses being passed by the new super-fast network to more than 500,000.
The latest upgrades are due to be completed during 2012.
Coun Roger Styring, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We very much welcome this latest announcement from BT.
“Just like roads and railways, broadband internet is a vital part of the essential infrastructure of Northumberland.
‘‘In an increasingly competitive and technological world, it is essential that local businesses and households have access to faster and more reliable internet connections and this council is committed to ensuring that all of Northumberland’s communities are connected.”
Chris Sayers, BT regional director for the north east, added: “This latest major investment is a tremendous boost for the north east.
“Super-fast broadband will be welcomed by families throughout the area because it will help improve their quality of life and leisure, and open new doors through online learning and fast access to information and services.
“And it’s also going to provide a huge fillip for businesses and the north east economy.
“At a stroke, small and medium sized firms will have access to big business speeds at much lower costs allowing them to find new markets, boost their competitiveness and create new jobs.”