The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) has received £12 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to invest in the local fibre broadband infrastructure.
It amounts to all of the money it requested from the department under the Local Full Fibre Networks Programme, and will provide internet connections for 313 public sector buildings across the region, focused on rural areas in Northumbria.
As yet there is no time scale for the roll out but the authority said it is expected to drastically improve the speed and reliability of digital connections.
Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne mayor, said this will give the region “an edge in infrastructure”, supporting the use of technologies such as virtual reality and online meetings.
Factor of 50
He added: “Full fibre increases the internet bandwidth to our rural communities by a factor of 50. All aspects of our lives will use more data connectivity – businesses collaborating through teleconferencing, people working from home, our kids learning with virtual reality, even the way we shop.
“With the North of Tyne delivering this, rural Northumberland will have better connectivity than most UK city centres.”
Councillor Nick Forbes, the North of Tyne cabinet member for business competitiveness and leader of Newcastle City Council said: “This is a fantastic outcome which will allow us to further enhance the region’s reputation for its pioneering approaching to technological developments.
“We have one of the fastest growing technology sectors outside the capital, and the roll out of full fibre internet to those more rural regions will help more communities within the North of Tyne area benefit from that.”
Image by felixtriller, CC BY 2.0 through flickr