Newcastle makes super contribution to Government superfast broadband target

The Go Digital Newcastle project has now brought superfast broadband to almost 5,000 homes and businesses

Go Digital event at the Centre for Life in Newcastle
Go Digital event at the Centre for Life in Newcastle

Go Digital Newcastle has reached almost 5,000 premises, helping the Government achieve its milestone target in its roll-out of superfast broadband.

Newly-published figures show the Government’s nationwide rollout has now reached more than two million homes and businesses.

The roll-out is delivering superfast access, internet speeds greater than 24 Mbps, to those properties not covered by existing commercial networks, and is on track to take superfast access to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.

The Go Digital drive is run by Newcastle City Council which, together with Government, has invested £1.94m to deliver superfast broadband Newcastle.

Around 80% of the UK already has access to superfast speeds, and the rollout is currently reaching an additional 40,000 homes and businesses every week.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Today there are 4,800 more Newcastle homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband than there was two years ago as a result of this ambitious project.

“We want everyone in the UK to be able to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, that’s why we’ve begun work on reaching the last five per cent of communities not covered by existing plans.”

Focus is now firmly placed on the hardest to reach areas that make up the “final five per cent” of the UK not covered by existing plans, and Government has already begun work on extending superfast coverage to these communities.

Councillor Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, said: “Our ambitious project, in partnership with BT, to increase our superfast broadband coverage is now well underway, with almost 5,000 extra premises across the city able to access the service.

“Superfast broadband is critical to any city nowadays and this allows us to remain competitive with other major European cities and gives a tremendous boost to the local economy.

“It keeps Newcastle at the forefront of the technological revolution.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access, said: “Today marks a giant step forward in the rollout of fibre broadband in Newcastle and across the UK.

“Across the Newcastle area 85,000 homes and businesses now have access to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to Go Digital Newcastle and BT’s own commercial fibre broadband programme.

“We are now reaching into the heart of scores of communities that have so far been beyond the reach of this vital technology.

“There can be few areas of modern life which are not influenced in some way by broadband – whether it’s supporting how we work, how we learn, how we communicate with friends and family, or how we entertain ourselves.

“Now is the time to embrace high-speed broadband and switch to the superfast lane.”

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