Thousands more can surf superfast in Teesdale thanks to Digital Durham

More than 2,000 homes and businesses can now access fibre broadband because of multi million pound partnership

More than 2,000 homes and businesses can now access fibre broadband because of multi million pound partnership

High-speed fibre broadband is being rolled out across further parts of Teesdale with more than 2,000 households and businesses now able to connect to the new technology thanks to the Digital Durham programme.

This is in addition to around 2,500 homes and businesses in Barnard Castle already able to access the faster speeds as part of BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre.

Parts of Cockfield, Copley, Cotherstone and Staindrop are the first locations outside Barnard Castle to be reached by the superfast network, with parts of Barningham, Bowes, Gainford and Middleton-in-Teesdale due to upgraded by the end of June 2016.

In total, 3,500 homes and businesses in Teesdale are due to get access to the high-speed technology as part of the first phase of the Digital Durham programme, which also includes parts of Romaldkirk, Eggleston, Ingleton, Stainton, Barningham, Bowes, Woodland, Winston and Mickleton.

Teesdale is also set to benefit from the second phase of the Digital Durham roll-out which is currently being planned with work expected to start in 2017.

Welcoming the news, Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, said: “Broadband is an essential part of modern life – it is used for everything from homework to shopping to farming. Reaching more people with superfast broadband is important to grow local businesses and keep people in touch. I’m delighted by the announcement and will work with Digital Durham to get even more people connected.”

To celebrate the expansion of superfast broadband in Teesdale, the Digital Durham team are holding three events with the first kicking off at Scarth Hall in Staindrop today. This will be followed by an event at Lipscome Hall in Cockfield on July 10 at 10.30am and Cornerstone Christian Centre in Evenwood at on July 17 at10am.

These events will give local people and businesses a chance to meet the team, ask questions about the roll-out and discover the benefits of faster broadband speeds. Similar events will be organised in other areas as the roll-out continues,

Councillor Jane Brown, cabinet member for corporate services, Durham County Council, said: “This is an exciting and important development for Teesdale as residents and businesses throughout the Dales will be able to take advantage of the many opportunities provided by superfast broadband. It also demonstrates our commitment to making sure those in rural areas are able to benefit from the programme.

“We would urge local people to visit the three public events and find out more about the project and what it can do for them.”

More than 60,000 homes and businesses can now access fibre broadbandacross the Digital Durham programme area and thousands of them have already ordered fibre broadband and are now enjoying faster broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps[i].

Fibre broadband at home means everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. Fibre improves the quality of online experiences and supports new developments in internet services.
Benefits for businesses include faster file and data transfers, better access to cloud computing services and software, more sophisticated web-based contact with customers and support for more flexible working.

Fibre broadband enables multiple users in a home or business to access the internet, download and share large files at the same time more quickly than ever before. In order to take advantage of the higher speeds now available, residents should contact their service provider.

Speaking at the Digital Durham community event in Staindrop, Simon Roberson, BT’s regional partnership director for the North East, said: “The Digital Durham project is a mammoth undertaking with over 100 planners and engineers working on upgrading the network – rolling out more than 500km of fibre-optic cable, enough to stretch over 7 times the length of the A1 in the project area.

“Teesdale’s rural landscape means rolling out fibre can be a real challenge, with some areas trickier than others, for example, smaller communities which are often based further away from the nearest telephone exchange.

“The second phase of the Digital Durham programme will see our engineers facing fresh challenges as they push the rollout of the fibre broadband network even further, to reach some of the very smallest and remotest communities, helping the rural economy to grow and improving the services and quality of life for local communities rural people have access to.”

The Digital Durham broadband programme is delivered by Durham County Council and BT.In total, £34 million has been invested by BT, Durham County Council, Gateshead Council, Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and public sector partners in Sunderland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and the Tees Valley.

The second phase of the programme is expected to begin in 2017 and by the end of the roll-out 97 per cent of premises within the programme area will have access to fibre broadband.

For more information about the Digital Durham programme please visit www.digitaldurham.org


For further information please contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news

180Mbps is the top wholesale speed. Internet service providers (ISPs) may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP.

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

    About Digital Durham

    The Digital Durham programme‘s vision is to improve the economic and social wellbeing of residents, by enabling a greater access to digital services through the provision of fibre broadband and other ground breaking technologies to businesses, homes and communities in County Durham, Gateshead, Sunderland, the five Tees Valley areas, North Tyneside and South Tyneside.

    Working in partnership with BT, we aim to bring faster broadband to those areas that are outside of any commercial roll-out plans. By mid-2016, we aim to bring superfast broadband speeds to at least 94% of the programme area, with a minimum of 2Mbps for all.

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world.It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com.