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25.07.19

Northumberland County Council welcomes £12m digital funding

Northumberland County Council has welcomed £12m funding to boost digital connectivity in rural communities.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) made a bid to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport earlier this year for the investment from its Local Full Fibre Networks Programme.

The funding will pay for the rollout of fibre internet connections to public buildings across Northumberland, improving the speed and reliability of digital connectivity to these sites.

Northumberland County Council leader Peter Jackson said: “This is fantastic news for the county, providing rural Northumberland with better connectivity than many city centres.

“Both here in Northumberland and across the Combined Authority we recognise that having widely available, high-speed, affordable and reliable connectivity to businesses and residents is crucial in maintaining our economic competitiveness and achieving social inclusion.

READ MORE: North of Tyne devolution deal suffers another setback

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“This upgrade to our infrastructure in the county is a building block for higher broadband speeds to many other communities across our county and doing this will have a much-wider long term impact.”

The £12m funding will deliver gigabit capable full fibre connectivity to 313 public sector sites, via the Northumberland Gigabit Project.

Cllr Jackson added: “While we’re working hard to connect every home and business in Northumberland this is a great step towards that vision and the benefits will be felt by everyone who uses our services - whether that’s libraries, schools or customer information centres.

“Here in the county we pride ourselves on punching well above our weight in terms of embracing new technology and this is a real boost which will provide day to day benefits to thousands.”

The project, which is set to be welcomed by the NTCA’s Cabinet on July 30, aims to be complete by early 2021.

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