Thousands more homes and businesses in North Tyneside can now access high-speed, fibre-based broadband.
Around 6,500 premises have been upgraded by engineers from Openreach since the launch of the first North Tyneside fibre broadband cabinet in Northumberland Square, North Shields.
Most recently, additional properties in Killingworth and Battle Hill have joined those upgraded earlier in the roll-out in communities, such as Wallsend, Shiremoor, Annitsford and North Shields as a result of the multi-million point Digital Durham programme.
Hundreds of residents and businesses have ordered the new technology and are reaping the benefits of increased broadband speeds of to up to 80 Mbps.
Mayor Norma Redfearn, said: “I’m delighted to see that so many have taken advantage of the superfast broadband roll-out in North Tyneside.
“We want everyone in the borough to be able to access the best services available and the roll-out of high-speed broadband will open up a number of opportunities for residents, as well as allowing local businesses to grow and regenerate the local economy.
“We will continue to work
with our partners at Openreach and Digital Durham to ensure that as much of North Tyneside as possible can access this service.”
One business benefitting from the boost in broadband speeds is North Shields-based Wubbleyou, which builds web applications and phone apps to make businesses more efficient.
Mark Renney, director at Wubbleyou, said: “Before our upgrade to superfast broadband we were seriously considering relocating the business as it was becoming increasingly difficult to work efficiently with the speeds we were getting.
“Transferring large files is a big part of what we do and staff were sometimes having to go home to send files to clients, which was far from ideal.
“Since upgrading to fibre-based broadband our download speeds are 25 times faster enabling the whole team to work online simultaneously and without any restrictions.
“Without a doubt the faster speeds have supported us in becoming a more efficient and productive operation, as well as enabling us to continue expanding the team and growing the business.”
Derek Richardson, Openreach programme director for the North East, added: “Although North Tyneside is an urban area, work to boost speeds across the borough has been vital.
“The demand for faster, more reliable broadband speeds, driven by the ever increasing use of bandwidth-hungry devices, such as smartphones, tablets and even TVs, has never been greater.
“And that need for speed will only increase so ensuring North Tyneside communities can keep up is essential.”
Digital Durham is a partnership of ten local authorities – led by Durham County Council and BT Group – which aims to bring superfast broadband to homes and businesses in areas not included in commercial fibre rollouts.
For more information about the Digital Durham programme visit www.digitaldurham.org