More than 4,000 rural premises in Teesdale will gain access to faster and more reliable broadband after Borderlink, trading as GoFibre, was awarded a multi-million contract under the government’s Project Gigabit scheme.
GoFibre will work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Durham County Council to enable thousands of hard-to-reach homes and businesses to access gigabit-capable broadband, made possible by £6.6m of DCMS investment.
The project will cover towns, villages and hamlets across the region including premises near to Barnard Castle and Bishop Auckland, subject to further survey completion.
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.
The contract with GoFibre’s parent company Borderlink has been signed and planning is now underway, with construction due to begin in Spring 2023. This is the second Project Gigabit contract to be awarded following one covering North Dorset in August.
Chris Jagusz, Chairman of GoFibre, said:
“Closing the digital divide and helping local communities to thrive by providing previously unimaginable levels of capability through high-quality broadband services is at the heart of everything we do. Through our latest appointment, we will work as a trusted partner, equipping Teesdale with world-class connectivity built for the future.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister, Julia Lopez, said:
“Families and businesses across rural Teesdale can soon say goodbye to buffering broadband and hello to lightning-fast speeds thanks to the government leading the biggest broadband roll out in British history.
“I’m delighted Teesdale will be one of the first places to benefit from the dozens of multi-million pound contracts we will be signing over the coming weeks and months to make sure people in ‘hard-to-reach’ areas across the UK get the broadband they deserve.”
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 first contract Borderlink Broadband has been successfully 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 Susan McDonnell, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for digital, customer services and procurement, added:
“We look forward to working on this exciting development, which will benefit thousands of our residents and businesses in rural areas.
“Reliable broadband is integral to our ambitious plans for economic growth across County Durham. It plays a significant role in opening up a wider range of education and employment opportunities and helping communities to connect with each other and thrive.”
Following a £164 million investment earlier this year from Gresham House’s British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund, 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 The GoFibre website.