Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the founder & director of the 'Broadband 4 Northumberland' campaign, which aims to ensure that every home and business in Northumberland has access to superfast broadband, has expressed concern that parts of the County might be being missed out under the first phase of investment for fibre broadband which should be upgraded.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, met this week with the broadband team at Northumberland County Council, to discuss the plans for the next tranche of funding - £2m from Government, match-funded by our County Council – will be spent. Anne-Marie is concerned that the provider, whether BT or other suppliers, will choose to invest in the easiest areas, and might ignore the hard-to-reach communities. Anne-Marie will be working with councillors and the excellent team committed to the broadband rollout to ensure that the best and most flexible option is chosen to help get best value for money.
Anne-Marie said; "The Conservative-led Government & our county council have a contract with BT to provide superfast broadband to over 90% of all homes in the county by 2016. The point of the Conservative-led Government’s investment into fibre broadband is to ensure that rural areas get superfast broadband, so that no-one is left out of the digital revolution. We have done a great deal of work as a campaign group to highlight to BT where there is greatest demand for this new investment, and those areas were promised prioritised action. The Broadband4Northumberland campaign team is fighting to ensure that the whole county is brought into the modern, digital era, no town or village, however small or remote, should be left behind".
This week Anne-Marie Trevelyan met with residents of Newton on the Moor who told her that that they had been advised that due to a "postcode anomaly" they may not be upgraded until 2017. Local broadband champion, David Rixon said; "we are very annoyed especially as we have been campaigning to ensure the broadband upgrade for the surrounding areas. I have spoken to Anne-Marie Trevelyan who understands our frustrations and she has agreed to fight our corner with BT and the County Council".