Riding Mill joins broadband superfast digital highway

iNorthumberland to demonstrate the benefits to local residents and businesses at local event 

Super-fast broadband has arrived in Riding Mill, iNorthumberland announced today.

More than 400 homes and businesses in the village now have access to the high-speed, fibre technology and members of the iNorthumberland team will be holding a community event in the village to explain why faster broadband is such good news.

They will be at The Wellington Hotel in Riding Mill at 10.30 am on March 24 to answer questions about the fibre broadband roll-out and the benefits faster internet speeds can bring.

Anne Dale, councillor for Broomhaugh, Stocksfield and Mickley, said: “This is great news for everyone living and working in Riding Mill. Having campaigned for many years about the importance of improved connectivity in Riding Mill, to have superfast broadband now available to everyone in the village is fantastic.

“I’m sure many people still have questions about what it means for them – both residents and businesses – so I would encourage everyone to pop along and meet the iNorthumberland team on Tuesday.

“There is more to do, more homes and businesses to get online and I will keep working with iNorthumberland to help that happen, but it is fantastic to see the positive impact of faster broadband speeds as they roll-out across the county.”
Cllr Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The iNorthumberland roll-out of fibre broadband is advancing across the County with Riding Mill just one of the many places to benefit in recent weeks.

“Whatever you’re doing online, you can do it better and faster with fibre. Whether it’s shopping, downloading music and video, watching TV, social networking, studying or researching homework, once you’ve switched to fibre you’ll never look back. There is also huge potential for local firms to put themselves on the global map with an effective online presence.”

More than 30 Riding Mill households and businesses are already using fibre broadband and demand continues to grow as more and more local people opt for the sophisticated technology, which can see speeds increase to up to 80Mbps1.

Bringing high-speed fibre broadband to Riding Mill was a major engineering operation involving the laying of ten kilometres of underground duct and cable and a new fibre broadband cabinet being built near the Wellington Hotel. Previously, all properties in the village were served by telephone lines running straight from the phone exchange to homes and businesses rather than via a street cabinet so a further new cabinet was installed to enable the village to benefit from the upgrade. To do so, engineers had to build a further 73 metres of underground duct and make a diversion to avoid a large concrete plinth, which was discovered under the footway.

Simon Roberson, BT’s regional partnership director for the North East, said: “To build a fibre optic broadband network on this scale is a massive undertaking and iNorthumberland is making fantastic progress.

“Homes and businesses in dozens of communities can now find out for themselves why there’s such a buzz about fibre broadband and I would urge people in Riding Mill to go and meet the team or check with their internet service provider to see what is on offer.”

The iNorthumberland broadband programme, a key part of the council’s growth investment, is being delivered by Northumberland County Council and BT. BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. The company is contributing £2.9 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas with Northumberland County Council investing £7 million plus its £7 million share of BDUK funds. The remaining £2 million is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 2 The ERDF funding will be used to enable fibre connections for more than 2,600 small and medium sized businesses in Northumberland.

iNorthumberland recently secured funding from the Government’s Superfast Extension Plan which will be used to further extend coverage in some areas not included in the current roll-out plans.

The majority of premises in Northumberland will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds in the UK via iNorthumberland and the commercial roll-out of fibre by BT’s local network business, Openreach. Openreach’s network will be open to all broadband service providers on an equal wholesale basis and so Northumberland households and businesses will benefit from highly competitive products and pricing.

For up to date information on available business support and the roll-out visit www.inorthumberlandbusiness.co.uk or www.inorthumberland.org.uk. .


1 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

2 The iNorthumberland project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

Notes to Editors:
Superfast Britain is a Government investment of £1.08bn in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio comprises three linked programmes:
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services.
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk