New £4.9 million broadband network for Blyth

More than 16,500 homes and businesses in Blyth can now order some of the fastest, most reliable broadband in Europe thanks to a multi-million investment by Openreach

The company has spent more than 4.9  million[1] locally so far to build a new ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre network across the majority of the Northumberland town.

The new technology is up to 16 times faster than the average UK broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the old copper-based network it’s replacing - but even though around 38 per cent (far higher than the UK average of 26 per cent) of people have adopted the service where it’s available that still leaves thousands who could be benefitting but aren’t.

Cllr Richard Wearmouth, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council and portfolio holder for corporate services, said: "It's fantastic that many homes and businesses in Blyth can now benefit from the fastest broadband speeds available. Good connectivity is vital to our modern lives and can open up a whole host of benefits and opportunities for work and leisure purposes alike.

"I would urge anyone who has fibre broadband available in their area to talk to their supplier about the packages available and take full advantage of the fastest speeds. If you need advice to get online or need help with your digital skills the Council has a range of useful resources to help you do so."

A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) shows that connecting everyone in the North East to Full Fibre broadband would create a £1.7 billion boost to the local economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s Partnership Director for Scotland and the North East, said: Research shows that this new network will give businesses an edge and provide families and home-workers with future-proof connectivity, no matter what life throws at us next.

“Our investment across the North East continues at pace, and we’re determined to deliver a great service which helps communities to thrive and supports people to work from home easily, keep in touch with their loved ones and build connections and opportunities.

“Gigabit-capable broadband can have a huge impact on people’s lives and it’s great for the economy but upgrades aren’t automatic. People need to place an order with their chosen providers to get connected and we’ll do the rest. Our network offers the widest choice of providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen - which means people have lots of choice and can get a great deal.

“Even if you already have a decent enough service, it’s worth checking if you can upgrade, because full fibre is the future, and it provides the best broadband experience at great value for money. There’ll be no more worrying that your video call might freeze, or your files are failing to upload when everyone’s at home competing for bandwidth at the same time.” 

Openreach has announced plans to invest in Full Fibre broadband for the majority of premises in dozens of towns and villages across Northumberland. It’s part of the company’s plans to reach 25 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2026. This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about Openreach Fibre First build programme here.



[1] Investment figure based on an average build cost of £300 per premises