Business leaders welcome high-speed broadband expansion announcement

Business leaders welcome high-speed broadband expansion announcement

Business leaders welcome high-speed broadband expansion announcement

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Darlington reporter

THOUSANDS of homes and businesses across the North-East are set to benefit from the latest expansion of the high-speed broadband network in a move business leaders hope could boost the region’s economy.

Up to 58,000 homes in the Tees Valley and about 14,000 properties in County Durham are the latest to be included in BT’s £2.5bn roll-out of fibre broadband across the UK.

The towns chosen for the upgrade -Darlington, Redcar and Norton, near Billingham, in the Tees Valley, and Barnard Castle, Beamish and Easington in County Durham – will be upgraded by spring next year.

BT claims that the fibre technology raises download speeds from an average nine megabites per second (Mpbs) up to 330Mbps, the fastest speed recorded so far.

The announcement has been welcomed by council leaders and economic groups, which hope the improved connection to the world wide web will boost existing businesses and encourage others to set up in the area.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Local Enterprise Partnership Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “This is very welcome news for the start of 2013 - local businesses and households will be greatly encouraged by such a major investment, which shows we are making good progress in the partnership work that is strengthening our local economy.

“High-speed communications are essential in order to succeed in an ever more competitive and connected world and today’s announcement helps to reinforce Tees Valley’s credentials as a great place to live and do business.”

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council's cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “Local businesses have made it clear that access to affordable, reliable, superfast broadband is essential for them to remain competitive and develop their business. This news puts in place an essential building block from which we can drive forward with our aims.”

Alan Napier, deputy leader of Durham County Council, said the news demonstrated that “we are making progress even in these tough economic times”.

Farooq Hakim, BT’s North-East regional director, said: “This latest investment is a major vote of confidence in the future success of this area. It will be a key part of our economic revival as we finally shrug off the effects of the downturn and create a better, more prosperous future.”

Comments (6)

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10:11pm Mon 11 Feb 13

diga says...

Does anyone know if this will cover the whole of Darlington? We're currently classed as being too far from the exchange which means no internet provider wants to take us on as we can't get more than 1.3mb....
Does anyone know if this will cover the whole of Darlington? We're currently classed as being too far from the exchange which means no internet provider wants to take us on as we can't get more than 1.3mb.... diga
  • Score: 0

8:40am Tue 12 Feb 13

fourmars says...

diga wrote:
Does anyone know if this will cover the whole of Darlington? We're currently classed as being too far from the exchange which means no internet provider wants to take us on as we can't get more than 1.3mb....
N.Aycliffe have this fibre optic broadband so i suspect BT will install it down the A167, so North Road and surrounding streets will be upgraded and the town centre seeing as the exchange is just off Duke Street.
14k Homes Upgraded,total of homes in Darlington is 52k.So just under 1/4 of the town will be happy.If you live in Westpark area of Darlington you might as well live on the moon,Virgin wont install due to newly built streeets and the council wont allow any communication companies to dig up roads or paths for 3yrs after they have took over the upkeep of the roads and paths which they took over in 2012, so 2015 is a date for your diary.
[quote][p][bold]diga[/bold] wrote: Does anyone know if this will cover the whole of Darlington? We're currently classed as being too far from the exchange which means no internet provider wants to take us on as we can't get more than 1.3mb....[/p][/quote]N.Aycliffe have this fibre optic broadband so i suspect BT will install it down the A167, so North Road and surrounding streets will be upgraded and the town centre seeing as the exchange is just off Duke Street. 14k Homes Upgraded,total of homes in Darlington is 52k.So just under 1/4 of the town will be happy.If you live in Westpark area of Darlington you might as well live on the moon,Virgin wont install due to newly built streeets and the council wont allow any communication companies to dig up roads or paths for 3yrs after they have took over the upkeep of the roads and paths which they took over in 2012, so 2015 is a date for your diary. fourmars
  • Score: 0

11:00am Tue 12 Feb 13

markdarlo says...

If you read the article properly, it says Darlington in the tees valley, which is in the 58,000 homes, so Darlington will be pretty much all covered. The 14,000 homes is in Barnard Castle, Beamish and Easington.
If you read the article properly, it says Darlington in the tees valley, which is in the 58,000 homes, so Darlington will be pretty much all covered. The 14,000 homes is in Barnard Castle, Beamish and Easington. markdarlo
  • Score: 0

11:58am Tue 12 Feb 13

diga says...

Ignoring your sarcasm, Mark, I hope we will be covered. I did see 58000 homes but wouldn't have a clue how many there are in Darlington. I just hope there aren't 58001 and we're that extra 1..... :-)
Ignoring your sarcasm, Mark, I hope we will be covered. I did see 58000 homes but wouldn't have a clue how many there are in Darlington. I just hope there aren't 58001 and we're that extra 1..... :-) diga
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Tue 12 Feb 13

loan_star says...

Its about time BT started upgrading Darlington. Virgin dont seem bothered about anything not already in their network so the only option for many is BT.
Its about time BT started upgrading Darlington. Virgin dont seem bothered about anything not already in their network so the only option for many is BT. loan_star
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Tue 12 Feb 13

fourmars says...

markdarlo wrote:
If you read the article properly, it says Darlington in the tees valley, which is in the 58,000 homes, so Darlington will be pretty much all covered. The 14,000 homes is in Barnard Castle, Beamish and Easington.
hmm! have you read todays article on the matter.seems to be town centre morton park and lingfield point gonna get it.TOLD YA!
[quote][p][bold]markdarlo[/bold] wrote: If you read the article properly, it says Darlington in the tees valley, which is in the 58,000 homes, so Darlington will be pretty much all covered. The 14,000 homes is in Barnard Castle, Beamish and Easington.[/p][/quote]hmm! have you read todays article on the matter.seems to be town centre morton park and lingfield point gonna get it.TOLD YA! fourmars
  • Score: 0

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