Redcar is the first location in the Tees Valley to get superfast fibre broadband as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
Two fibre broadband cabinets, on Hambleton Road, and Coatham Road, are now ‘live’ with more than 370 homes and businesses in the area able to order the new fibre broadband technology.
Redcar & Cleveland Council have allocated £260,000 to secure in excess of £1m of funding as part of the first phase of improvements across the borough, which will see more than 3,000 homes and businesses get access to fibre broadband.
The announcement was welcomed by Cllr Mark Hannon, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Redcar & Cleveland Council.
He said: “The Council is committed to improving access to faster broadband in the borough and I am delighted that Redcar will be the first location in the Tees Valley to benefit from these improvements.”
High-speed broadband will become available to thousands more homes and businesses across Redcar & Cleveland with more than 90% of the borough covered by March 2016.
These improvements will help to boost the competitiveness of local firms and offer new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for our residents.”
In April 2013, Redcar & Cleveland Council, in partnership with seven other local authorities, agreed a £25m deal with BT to transform broadband speeds for businesses and residents across the Tees Valley, County Durham, Gateshead and Sunderland.
A public sector investment of £9.1 million from the eight partner authorities was bolstered by a BT investment of £5.9 million and £9.1 million Government funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
Stephen Catchpole, Managing Director for Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, said: “High-speed communications are vitally important in order to succeed in today’s competitive environment.
“The start of transforming broadband speeds in Tees Valley will help reinforce the area’s credentials as a great place to live and do business.”
Simon Roberson, BT’s North East regional partnership director, said: “This is good news for the borough and even better news for local business.
“By upgrading to fibre, they will discover all sorts of ways to make their business more efficient and cost effective. Faster broadband breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world with new ways of working, such as online trading, which helps to empower small businesses to find new markets, sell new products, try new business models and compete on an equal footing with larger businesses, not just in the UK but globally.”
The remaining fibre cabinets within the programme across Redcar and Cleveland are to be enabled by March 2016. Details of areas included in the roll-out will be added to the council’s website at www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk as soon as they become available.
For further information about the programme please visit www.digitaldurham.org or www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk