Net gain on way for town’s web users

HIGH-speed broadband is now available to homes and businesses in Blyth.

More than 15,000 householders and firms in the town are joining the high-speed internet revolution as engineers complete upgrades to its telecommunications network.

The latest series of works by BT will take the number of properties in Northumberland with access to fibre broadband to almost 80,000 by spring next year.

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

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

The new fibre-to-the-cabinet systems offer download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20mbps2, but fibre-to-the-premises systems, currently offering download speeds of 110mbps, are about to have their capacity increased to 330mbps.

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.

“They’re joining ten million UK premises which are now passed by one of the world’s fastest growing fibre networks.

“Fibre broadband will offer local firms and households new ways of working flexibly and allow large data and video files to be sent and received almost instantly.”

Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell added: “It’s 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 to realise the full power and potential of the internet.”