Rural broadband plan picks up speed


A PROJECT to bring better broadband to the North Tyne and Redesdale area has taken a significant step forward.

Broadband for North Tyne and Redesdale (B4NTR) proposes high speed broadband to rural premises, increased download speeds and future community financial benefits.

Set up by a team of volunteers last year, B4NTR has teamed up with Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) – an organisation which prioritises connecting people to full fibre broadband and aims to future-proof communities which have been digitally disadvantaged for years.

The group’s detailed gigabit fibre broadband plan has been approved for funding by the Government Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) and residents can now register online to receive more information.

Lynne Rawles, from Great Bavington, who is one of the founders of the project said the government funding and support from the Ray Wind Fund had been crucial in helping them achieve their aims.

The network map for the broadband, which includes Barrasford, West Woodburn and Kirkwhelpington has been produced and volunteers are now consulting landowners. The digging process will be purpose-built to the appropriate environment with the ducts buried underground.

Paul Eastaugh, from Chollerton, said: “One in five people in this area don’t have an internet connection, and we’re aiming to get more and more people to think ahead about their connectivity.”

The new broadband package promises 1,000 megabits per second ultrafast fibre to the home at a cost of £30 per month.

David Ryall, community planning officer at B4RN, added: “The best thing about BARN is the work it does with communities and the people are all supportive of it. There’s the potential for money to be reinvested.”


By Bill Edgar @CourantBill