Ensuring access to broadband for Northumberland residents and businesses is a major priority for Northumberland Conservatives. Nick Oliver is Conservative Councillor for Corbridge and Cabinet Member responsible for digital policy across Northumberland County. This is his update on where things currently stand here in Northumberland:
‘Two of my key priorities are to get superfast broadband to the 5% of our households that do not yet have access to it and to roll out the next generation of hyper fast broadband throughout Northumberland as fast as possible.
‘We have a significant contract with BT Openreach which has already delivered in many areas but as we get to harder to reach communities progress has become disappointingly slow. We are becoming frustrated with the current pace of broadband provision - under the contract and through the community scheme - and are in detailed discussions with Directors of BT Openreach to agree an accelerated plan.
‘Northumberland Conservatives are working hard to deliver a digital infrastructure that works for everyone. We are doing all we can to keep the commercial and political pressure on BT to deliver for our residents, we are supporting the community scheme with additional investment and we are also using other methods of provision with alternative suppliers to enhance availability where this is possible.
‘Northumberland has large rural areas and it is key that we not only catch up with urban areas, but that we get ahead where we can. Rural connectivity forms a key plank of both the North of Tyne and Borderlands devolution deals and it is our intention to maximise the opportunities offered by these deals so that we can deliver the best possible digital infrastructure for our county.’
‘If you are struggling to get broadband in your area please contact iNorthumberland via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01670 626 001, contact your County Councillor or contact me. I will keep you posted with progress over the coming months.’