MEMBERS of a volunteer group are working with North Tyne and Redesdale parishes in a bid to bring better broadband to the area.

The aim of the Broadband For North Tyne and Redesdale (B4NTR) group is to provide improved broadband to all households in the area with the help of provider Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN).

Lynne Rawles, from Great Bavington, is heading the project with volunteers and residents in the North Tyne and Redesdale to bring faster broadband to the area.

She said: “Our ambition is to provide superfast broadband connectivity in all the parishes where connectivity is currently a recurring issue.

“What we are currently getting isn’t good enough and we need better connectivity to future proof us for years to come.”

A survey carried out by Community Action Northumberland found that broadband is the second most important facility that needs improving.

And although the group only formed in January, they have made significant progress in creating a broadband package to appeal to rural communities.

They are hoping to attract business by proposing 1,000 megabits per second ultrafast fibre to the home broadband at £30 per month.

To be able to deliver their project, the group has sought inspiration from the recent broadband work in the Allen Valleys.

Broadband for the Rural North is a well established not-for-profit organisation which helps communities in the UK build the world’s fastest broadband across rural areas.

Lynne explained: “When we heard that B4RN wanted to get involved with our project it was great news. We have also secured the backing of the Ray Wind Fund Community Interest Company which has helped initiate the project, and help built the network and get us connected.”

However, the volunteer group must show there is a local need for better broadband. At least 50 per cent of residents in each parish must complete an online expression of interest form or they won’t be considered in the final plans.

Lynne added: “In the future, you are going to be vulnerable if you don’t have access to fast broadband. We all realise it’s going to be a lot of work but it feels so good to do something for the community. I really believe that this can be a success.”

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