Broadband News

Northumberland working towards plan for the final 10%

If you live in what is referred to as a thinly populated area, then you are in the unlucky 13% of the UK. The main thrust of the BDUK projects has been to spend many millions getting superfast broadband to reach around 90% of the UK, thus ensuring all towns and suburbs are covered, and the easier to reach rural areas. Those in this final 10% have far too often have had the rotten carrot of the 2 Mbps Universal Service Commitment dangled in front of them.

Northumberland appears to be one of the areas of the UK, that is taking the challenge in the final 10% of the area seriously, they estimate this means some 16,000 properties, spread over a geographical area that is 60% of Northumberland. In theory this is where the RCBF funding jointly ran by Defra and BDUK steps in, and Northumberland is working to get £2m from that area, but has also submitted a bid for £9m to the European Regional Development Fund in August.

If the combined total of £11m can be secured, and additional investment be produced by Northumberland itself, and some commercial funding then there is a real chance that the funding available could deliver true future proof fibre networks, that don't stop at a remote cabinet, but push right into each property. The geographic layout would present challenges, but there is potential to put connectivity into areas that will then suffice for a good twenty years or more.

Installing true fibre connections offering a range of speeds, from low cost access at 20 Mbps through to 1 Gigabit (1000 Mbps) for those who feel the need for speed, to these hardest to reach areas, is likely to boost the amount of commercial investment across the UK to create more full fibre networks. Who knows the idea of Tech Hubs in cities may be replaced, by startups moving to the more rural areas to benefit from cheaper rent and even faster Internet connections. If the rural location is picked carefully, you need not be far from a major city and the hustle and bustle they offer when you want it.


What great news! This will provide much needed competition to the incumbent, and the new rural networks will harvest from suburbia as their connections will be far superior and cheaper to run and maintain. They will be far more reliable and robust, and futureproof too, unlike the copper cabinets. Go for it Northumberland!

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 8 years ago

Why shouldn't BT provide this?

  • Somerset
  • over 8 years ago

Maybe b4rn could do it ? Saying that they were supposed to have 900+ properties connected in the spring and they have yet to connect one yet?

  • GMAN99
  • over 8 years ago

I'm in Northumberland and just got fibre. Only the more populated south east of the county has BT Openreach FTTC so far.

With money limited, I don't think there's enough for FTTP and so we should concentrate on a wider roll out of FTTC. Extra cabinets can be added for those too far from an existing cabinet to get good speeds.

  • Kr1s69
  • over 8 years ago

"the new rural networks will harvest from suburbia". Is that supposed to mean something? Reads like complete gibberish.

CD I don't know what you grow on your farm but I think you should stop smoking it.

  • AndrueC
  • over 8 years ago


This extra money is on top of the millions going towards the FTTC heavy roll-out for the majority.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 8 years ago

20 years?? Once you have a fibre cable running to your home the sky is the limit as far as speeds are concerned. It's only limited by the kit at either end.
Deutsche Telecom managed a new record of 512 Gbit/s down a single fibre cable. To put this into perspective that about 60,000 Megabytes per second or about 1 full dual layer blu-ray disc per second or about 80,000 BR discs a day!
Methinks it will be a bit longer than 20 years.

  • ahockings
  • over 8 years ago


That's my point, they're spending millions getting to 90% and expect to get the last 10% (the most difficult, or commercially unviable) for only a few million more, and get FTTP in the process.

Northumberland has the lowest population density of any county, and even that is skewed by the mining towns in the south east.

  • Kr1s69
  • over 8 years ago

still bashing the none BT installers are you gmann? really it should be obvious to everyone
by now that you're nothing more than a mouth piece for bt you lackey, and your opinion doesn't mean jack.

  • BTbrownnoser
  • over 8 years ago

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