Better broadband for rural Northumberland under government’s Project Gigabit

The Scoop | 20/10/2022

● UK Government awards £7.3 million contract to upgrade broadband for more than 3,750 hard-to-reach North Northumberland premises
● GoFibre to build lightning-fast gigabit-capable connections more than twenty times faster than ‘superfast’
● Made possible via Project Gigabit, the government’s £5 billion plan to boost broadband across the UK

More than 3,750 rural premises in North Northumberland will gain access to faster and more reliable broadband after a multi-million pound contract was awarded under the government’s Project Gigabit scheme.

Borderlink Broadband, trading as GoFibre, will work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Northumberland County Council to enable thousands of hard-to-reach homes and businesses to access gigabit-capable broadband, made possible by £7.3 million of DCMS investment.

The project will cover towns, villages and hamlets across the area including premises near to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Wooler, subject to further survey completion. The contract has been signed and planning is now underway, with construction due to begin in Spring 2023.

The multi-million-pound contract is the second GoFibre will deliver in the North of England under Project Gigabit, following the recent announcement that the Scottish independent broadband provider will provide gigabit-capable connection to more than 4,000 homes and businesses in Teesdale under a £6.6 million contract.

Gigabit-capable networks are lightning-fast and fit for the future, allowing communities to upload and download data with none of the disruptions associated with ageing copper networks. More than 70 per cent of the UK can access gigabit connections – such as full fibre – but these are mostly in urban areas which is why the government is investing £5 billion to connect hard-to-reach areas that might otherwise miss out.

Sam Calvert, Chief Revenue Officer at GoFibre, said:

At GoFibre, everything we do is guided by our mission to support the development and prosperity of local communities across Northern England and Scotland with high-quality broadband services. We’re delighted to have been awarded our second contract as a trusted partner under the government’s Project Gigabit scheme with today’s announcement providing an exciting opportunity for us to extend our services to the people of North Northumberland.

Having already embedded ourselves within the Berwick community, we’re strengthening our ties with North Northumberland by helping locals to connect with each other and thrive, thanks to a reliable broadband connection. This opens up opportunities for economic growth, education and employment with everybody deserving access to world class connectivity which we’re looking forward to bringing to North Northumberland.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Julia Lopez, said:

North Northumberland will be one of the first places to benefit from this government’s multi-million pound investments to bring people in hard-to-reach areas the broadband speeds they deserve.

Faster gigabit broadband will mean families no longer have to battle over bandwidth and people in rural areas will get the speed, reliability and freedom to live and work flexibly.”

GoFibre is a Scottish independent broadband provider bringing full fibre broadband services to homes and businesses across Scotland and the North of England. This is the third contract that has been awarded under Project Gigabit.

The fast, reliable networks delivered by Project Gigabit will level-up mostly rural and remote communities across the UK, as well as tackling pockets of poor connectivity in urban areas. Having the fastest connections also means the UK is fit for the future, with broadband infrastructure designed to deliver for people’s needs for decades to come.

Cllr Richard Wearmouth, Northumberland County Council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for corporate services, added:

I’m really excited to see the plans for the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband speeds in North Northumberland.

“This will enable thousands of our residents living and working in rural areas to access the fastest and most reliable connection speeds available and will make accessing every-day activities – such as online banking, video calls, gaming and streaming – much more efficient.

Not only will this benefit our rural communities but it will support the levelling-up of our rural businesses too, allowing for better innovation and collaboration opportunities.”

Following a £164 million investment earlier this year from Gresham House’s sustainable infrastructure strategy, BSIF, GoFibre is accelerating its rollout of full fibre broadband throughout Scotland and the North of England, enabling the company to transform more lives and address the UK’s digital divide. GoFibre already has a presence across East Lothian, Fife and the Scottish Borders, with the aim to reach hundreds of thousands of homes over the next three years.

Households and businesses can register their interest in GoFibre’s full fibre broadband services by visiting

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