THE first dig for the core network of the Allen Valleys hyperfast broadband took place at the weekend.

A mix of local contractors and volunteers were hard at work at Allendale Primary School throughout Saturday, laying 400m of conduit branching out in three directions from the school.

The £100,000 scheme was launched last year by community group Broadband 4 the Allen Valleys (B4AV) in a bid to improve the Allen Valleys’ notoriously bad internet speeds.

The group’s leader, Mike Robinson, said the dig acted as a real community event.

Mike said: “The dig went very well. The whole school’s network has been installed, 400m of fibre has gone in so we just have to wait for the cabinet to arrive and connect the network to the rest of the internet.

“All the digging has been done, about 30-plus people turned up on the day, and we had people there on the Friday as well to get set up.

“The Golden Lion laid food on for everyone, so it was quite an event in a way.

“Everyone was really helpful and it fostered community spirit.

“It is an enormous step forward, it’s probably the most complex bit that we have to do because the network is all focused out from the school, so Saturday was as difficult as it’s going to get.”

The core network covers 81 miles around the West Allen and East Allen Valleys. B4AV are working to dig the trenches needed to install the fibre cabling that will bring the broadband to the area.