ONE of the newest and fastest growing Internet service providers  in the North East has joined The Echo's Level Up campaign, saying connectivity is vital to the development of the regional economy.

YouFibre joins Tees Valley Combined Authority, the North East England Chamber of Commerce and transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson as partners in the Echo campaign, which aims to give a single voice to the region to attract even more investment, jobs and Government focus.

YouFibre is offering the fastest and cheapest internet services in the UK.  The company provides internet speeds of up to 10,000Mbps (140x faster than the average home in the UK) using new full-fibre infrastructure built by Netomnia.

Read more: What our Level Up campaign stands for

Jeremy Chelot, chief executive, Netomnia and YouFibre, said the Level Up campaign mirrored his own ambitions, and told The Northern Echo: "The Level Up campaign aims to unite the voices of residents and businesses in County Durham that are asking for the things that will make their lives better and ensure they are heard.

"The campaign demands that promises and pledges are more than just headlines and soundbites and that politicians deliver. Netomnia and YouFibre are fundamentally behind these aims.

Read more: Leading North East law firm backs our drive

"Amongst other factors, the campaign focuses on jobs, skills, investment, expansion, environment and infrastructure. It is the last in this list, infrastructure, in this case broadband, that provides a foundation for all the others so we knew we had to be a part of this campaign.

"We’re not only investing in County Durham’s full-fibre broadband infrastructure, the build and resulting fibre infrastructure creates jobs, and improves the environment with relatively maintenance-free and long-lasting fibre instead of copper.

"Full fibre is vital to the development of the County Durham economy, and recent times have proven the vital role that ultrafast reliable connectivity plays in enabling communities and businesses to continue to thrive. Private investment from Netomnia into ultrafast networks will boost the economy by providing jobs, making property more saleable and enabling a much more attractive base for businesses.

"Fantastic broadband is vital for trade, finding work and enjoying spectacular entertainment and gaming opportunities more effectively than in places where broadband providers have been solely profit focused, or simply bypassed.

The Northern Echo: Fibre is the futureFibre is the future

"But this is not just a commercial opportunity for Netomnia and YouFibre. The internet transforms lives, it’s a great leveller; if you haven’t got it or you’ve a poor connection you’re disadvantaged. We want to see the prosperity the Internet can bring to County Durham where others haven’t bothered to turn up, or have made minimum effort. So we’re very pleased to be part of this campaign, which really speaks up for County Durham."

Jeremy said the company's drive to connect people across the region was going well: "We’ve connected 3,000 customers in County Durham with many more orders to be installed in the coming months. We want everybody to benefit from a truly fast and affordable Internet service that can unleash their full potential, bringing jobs, business and great leisure opportunities to the region.

Read more: Fibre provider passes target and plans North East expansion

"YouFibre’s services are based on networks built by partner company, Netomnia, the full-fibre network builder which is investing in and building high-quality gigabit networks for UK homes and businesses. Together with construction partners, Netomnia is working to connect towns and cities to full-fibre networks as rapidly as possible.

"The company is currently building in towns across north-east, including Durham, Houghton le Spring, Peterlee, Spennymoor and Stockton."

He said the whole region was a powerhouse able to compete with any other in the UK, and he was determined to keep it connected. But he called on Government to continue its support of smaller businesses.

"The North-East is a focus for Netmonia and YouFibre because it is competing well with other UK regions, yet has been curiously neglected by other broadband providers, so we see it as a great opportunity.

"With sectors including business services, digital, offshore wind and advanced manufacturing seeing the biggest job increases in the region were, investors like us have confidence they can grow their business here and become part of one of the UK’s most dynamic economies."


The Northern Echo: Join our Level Up campaignJoin our Level Up campaign

"We are investing millions of pounds in County Durham and from local government we need the support around network build that will help give residents and businesses the networks that other areas of the UK can only dream about, using that investment.

"On a national basis, we welcome the government’s support for rural deployment, but we hope it doesn’t just end up as money for larger operators. It’s important to protect companies like Netomnia which are already building ultrafast full-fibre broadband using private investment in areas, such as those in County Durham, that have been left out by larger providers.

"Effective national coverage will only be achieved through industry and government collaboration. The key to this is the government's continued support of and consultation with smaller, alternative network providers like Netomnia; this will ensure that tax-payers’ money has the greatest impact on full-fibre broadband coverage expansion and it’s not wasted on overbuild using people’s tax money."


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