A SCHEME which will see the Allen Valleys become one of the first areas in the UK to benefit from hyper-fast broadband is to take a major step forward this month.

The £100,000 scheme was launched by community group Broadband 4 the Allen Valleys (B4AV) last year, in a bid to improve the internet in the Allen Valleys, which has long been slow.

B4AV, working in partnership with Broadband 4 the Rural North, is planning to make the most of the good weather and start digging trenches, which are needed to install the fibre cabling needed to bring the broadband to the area, later this month.

The core network, which covers 81 miles around the West Allen and East Allen Valleys, and through Langley, will be installed by a mix of local contractors and volunteers.

The first dig for the core network will take place on Saturday, August 25 at Allendale Primary School, and Broadband 4 the Allen Valleys want to involve the whole community.

The group’s leader, Mike Robinson, said: “It’s massive for the area. We’re looking forward to it, with some trepidation!

“We’d like to make our first dig a real community event. We need to dig 400m of conduit to branch out of the school grounds in three directions.

“Everyone is invited to dig. If you’re not a digger, you could help with tea and coffee over lunch or even bake something delicious!”

B4AV will be on the lookout for new volunteers to organise and co-ordinate people and equipment, oversee installation, undertake home installs and more, with further details released later this month.

Despite the progress, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done.

While a group of volunteers have been working on securing agreements with landowners to install the fibre under their land, there is still more than 80 miles still to agree, but B4AV feel that enough work has been done to make a start on some sections.