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Superfast broadband launched in Darlington
THE latest super highspeed fibre broadband has been rolled out to thousands of homes and businesses in Darlington, one of the last towns in the UK to benefit from the technology.
The upgrades to the broadband network by BT will benefit more than 31,000 properties once they are completed by engineers in the coming weeks.
Customers who sign up for the superfast broadband through their internet service provider can expect faster download and upload speeds, which will make streaming films, making video calls and creating content for the web much easier.
The rollout of the fibre broadband has been welcomed by Darlington Borough Council, which worked with BT to identify where the fibre to the cabinet technology can be fitted.
Councillor Chris McEwan, cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “It’s really positive for Darlington because if want to win the race we’ve got to be in the race and superfast broadband will help us stay in the race.
“Having better broadband was one of the issues flagged by town centre businesses and this is evidence that the economic strategy is not just a piece of paper and that we have listened and worked with them.”
The commercial roll-out of the scheme will not cover the whole of Darlington in particular the villages in the borough.
It is hoped that a £24m joint project between eight councils in the Tees Valley and County Durham and BT, called Digital Durham, will fill in the gaps and deliver high-speed fibre broadband to around 94 per cent of premises by the end of 2016 and provide a minimum of 2Mbps broadband speeds for all users.
Simon Roberson, BT’s regional partnership director for the North-East, said Darlington was one of the last large towns to benefit from superfast broadband because its existing broadband service had been set up in an unusual way, creating technical difficulties.
He said: “For people at home it will mean families being able to do lots of different things online at the same time.
“For businesses we often find it’s the uploads that are important, even if they are getting a reasonable download speed it’s the uploads that hold them back from putting rich content online.”
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