Speeding up links to new health site

Dr Alan Rutherford, OBE, chairman of Earth balance, Simon Roberson, BTs North East regional partnership director, Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council and Derek Richardson, programme director at Openreach, in front of the building site which is soon to be Englands first proton therapy cancer centre. Picture by George Carrick.

Dr Alan Rutherford, OBE, chairman of Earth balance, Simon Roberson, BTs North East regional partnership director, Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council and Derek Richardson, programme director at Openreach, in front of the building site which is soon to be Englands first proton therapy cancer centre. Picture by George Carrick.

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The site of a major new health facility is set to benefit from ultrafast broadband.

Work on England’s first Proton Therapy Cancer Centre, near Bedlington, is underway ahead of its expected opening next September.

And the facility, along with nearby new homes, will be able to benefit from fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology thanks to Openreach, BT’s local network business.

Bomarsund will also be upgraded to superfast broadband as part of the second phase of the iNorthumberland broadband programme, a partnership between Northumberland County Council and BT.

Dr Alan Rutherford, OBE, chairman of Earth Balance, the site owners, said: “Although the site is still in the very early stages of development, we contacted Openreach as soon as possible to arrange the optimum communications solution for the whole site.

“By working in partnership with Northumberland County Council, the local Parish Council, Openreach and iNorthumberland, we want to enable Bomarsund to be able to punch above its weight, in optimising the opportunities available thanks to the technology on offer from BT.”

Coun Dave Ledger, the deputy leader of the county council, said: “The Earth Balance plans for Bomarsund are extremely exciting, and I’m very pleased the council’s iNorthumberland programme has been able to help in securing access to the most up to the minute infrastructure for both current and future development.”

“As a council we want to work with developments to unlock wider regeneration growth and the Earth Balance site is a great example of this.”

Derek Richardson, Openreach programme director, said: “Getting involved with this incredible development at such an early stage has been vitally important and very exciting. Earth Balance have shown great foresight by engaging with us as early as possible.

“Working with them, we have been able to plan for and accommodate the future communications needs of people living and working there.

“An ultrafast broadband network will be a major boost for this new community by ensuring that people living and working there have quick access to some of the fastest speeds available.

“As well as providing future residents with access to ultrafast broadband speeds, we are also building a bespoke Ethernet connection to serve the Proton Therapy Cancer Centre which has been tailored to suit their needs.

“This is a great example of what can be achieved working in partnership with developers and the local authority.”