A COMPANY is urging residents in villages across the region to pool together Government vouchers to bring full fibre broadband to rural communities.

Openreach is asking communities in Kirklevington, Willington and Bishop Auckland to consider pooling together Gigabit broadband vouchers available from the Government.

Residents who don't already have access to 100Mbps broadband service can check if they qualify for the vouchers on the Connect My Community website.

The vouchers are worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium business to support the cost of installing a new fast and reliable connection.

Utilising the vouchers enables Openreach to work with a local community to build a customised, co-funded network and bring full fibre broadband to areas not included in any existing private or publicly subsidised upgrade schemes.

By working with Openreach more than 120,000 homes and businesses across the UK can already benefit from ultrafast, ultra-reliable broadband.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach's partnership director for the North, said: "“This is a really exciting opportunity for residents and businesses in Kirklevington to bring full fibre infrastructure to their community.

"Everyone who pledges a voucher will be doing their bit to help make Kirklevington one of the best-connected places in Stockton-on-Tees. Pledging couldn’t be simpler, but we need residents to act quickly – as the scheme closes in March 2021.”

“Thousands of homes and businesses across the Tees Valley can already upgrade to the Openreach full fibre network and local people can use our online postcode checker to see what’s now available.

“We’re investing £12 billion to build full fibre broadband to 20 million homes – and more than three million of those will be in the toughest third of the UK – but we can’t upgrade the whole country alone. This latest support from government, alongside help to remove red tape and barriers that slow down the build, is vital.”

To claim the vouchers which contribute towards the cost of building the new network, residents are asked to commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available.