The coastal village of Whitburn has become the first location in South Tyneside to benefit from the Digital Durham broadband programme.
Over 1100 households and businesses in the area are set to take advantage from the fibre broadband connections, with a further 1390 Whitburn premises to receive access by the end of the year and 2115 more premises planned to be upgraded across the South Tyneside region.
Cllr Ed Malcolm, lead member for innovation and resources at South Tyneside Council, was present today to unveil one of Whitburn’s new cabinets, located in Range Villas, and highlighted the significance of fibre-optic broadband access in the area;
““The importance of fibre-based broadband cannot be overstated in this digital age and will provide a real boost for the local economy. Having faster connectivity to the Internet is crucial to business development and I am confident that this will be a major factor in the success of our local business community.”
Access to a faster broadband service is something that Mark Turnbull, director of M-Technic Fabrication LTD, based in the nearby Boldon business park, believes will help his company grow. “In the past we’ve tried teleconferencing with clients as it’s a much more efficient way of working collaboratively but we could never make it work,” he said. “Having high speed broadband will allow us to do that and much more. We can enhance our presentation of the company to the outside world by developing our website, for example, making it more interactive and content rich. And we can compete on an equal footing with other businesses in our sector that already have the advantage of high-speed broadband.”
Over £35 million has been invested into the Digital Durham programme by Durham County Council, South Tyneside Council, the Governments Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and public sector partners in Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside, Tees Valley Combined Authority and BT.