Broadband upgrade on way to town

THOUSANDS of homes and businesses in Wallsend are set to get faster broadband connections.

More than 17,600 addresses in the town will benefit as it is one of eight communities in the north east included in BT’s £2.5bn roll-out of fibre-optic broadband.

The upgrade in Wallsend is due to be completed next year following the completion of similar work affecting 13,400 premises in Benton.

BT regional director Chris Sayers said: “This latest major investment is a tremendous boost for North Tyneside.

“Super-fast broadband will be welcomed by families throughout the area because it will help improve their quality of life and leisure and open new doors through online learning and fast access to information and services.

“It’s also going to provide a huge fillip for businesses and the North Tyneside economy.

“At a stroke, small and medium-sized firms will have access to big business speeds at much lower costs allowing them to find new markets, boost their competitiveness and create new jobs.”

The upgrade will take the number of north east homes and businesses served by the new super-fast network to more than 500,000, and BT’s network business, Openreach, hopes two thirds of UK addresses will be covered by the end of 2014.

North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley said: “I welcome BT’s announcement and I am sure it will have a significant positive impact on the economy of North Tyneside.”