BT has revealed plans to connect 98 per cent of homes and businesses in rural Rothbury to superfast connection.
Details of the latest regional broadband project that BT has been tasked with reveal that by the end of 2014, the majority of homes and businesses in the area will benefit from faster FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) connections, providing download speeds of up to 80Mbps.
Money from Defra’s Rural Community Broadband Funds (RCBF) along with cash from BT will fund the project. The plan is to primarily serve areas which would normally not get coverage under commercial investment plans, such as BT’s own £2.5 billion plans.
Bill Murphy, managing director, Next Generation Access, BT, said: “Rothbury is setting the pace for rural communities and the rest of the county with this exciting deal. We’re working with local authorities and regions across the country to make high-speed broadband available in more challenging areas not included in BT’s own commercial roll-out programme, which already aims to bring the technology to two thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of spring 2014.”
Rothbury, with a population of less than 2,000 at the last count, is not the only part of Northumberland destined to benefit from RCBF money.
Kate Roe, Northumberland County Council’s deputy chief executive at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is an important milestone in the campaign to bring superfast broadband to every home, business and school in Northumberland… It is very exciting that Rothbury has been chosen as the first place to benefit from the fund and we are sure that as programme rolls-out in Rothbury this can only help other projects in the county, which are set to follow.”
Northumberland is one of the most sparsely populated regions of England and so is eligible for grants from the RCBF pot. In total, there’s £20 million of RCBF money up for grabs. A £117,000 grant has been approved for the Tove Valley in Northamptonshire and the Rothbury project benefits to the tune of £460,000.
Image credit: Flickr user Mark Avey