High speed broadband is being brought to a new housing estate, thanks to a partnership between residents and BT.
More than 500 households at Crofton Grange, Blyth, will see Openreach install new fibre optic cabling, boosting speeds from around 1Mbps to up to 80Mbps.
The cost of delivering the new technology has been covered by investment from Openreach and the UK Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme.
The co-funded deal at Crofton Grange is expected to see the first residents get the higher broadband speeds before the end of the year.
It is part of BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships programme, which has already seen BT sign agreements with more than 200 local communities and organisations to bring fibre broadband to some of the UK’s most challenging areas.
Crofton Grange resident Andy Green, who led the campaign for the upgrade, said: “Getting to this point has not been easy but we were determined to find a solution and get the broadband speeds we so desperately need.
“The iNorthumberland team pointed us towards the Community Fibre Partnerships programme after others avenues failed and we’re really pleased they did.
“Broadband speeds are more important now than ever before and this is going to make a massive difference to people living here.
“Once the work is complete, the technology will better support people who want to work from home, we will be able to stream many of the TV shows we’ve not been able to watch and won’t have to wait hours to download software updates.”
Simon Roberson, BT’s North East regional partnership director, said: “We are working with communities, such as Crofton Grange, up and down the region.
“Making fibre broadband available to communities is one of our top priorities and working directly with a group of residents like this is just one of the ways of doing so. People here have shown great determination to make this happen and fibre broadband opens up endless opportunities.”
“We are still seeing instances where developers are not engaging with Openreach early enough, resulting in households only being able to get slow broadband when they move into brand new properties.
“I would strongly encourage developers to do the right thing for the people moving into new homes by ensuring they have future proof broadband technology in place ready and waiting for them.”
Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “It is great to be able to work with communities like Crofton Grange, to find a fibre broadband solution.”