TWO local schools are to benefit from a £200m Government programme that plans to roll out gigabit-capable full fibre broadband to the most rural and remote locations in the UK.

Acomb and Cambo First Schools are part of the Rural Gigabit Connectivity scheme, launched after the Government identified that approximately 10 per cent of UK premises, largely in rural and remote areas, would be unlikely to receive gigabit-capable connections commercially by 2033. 

The two-year programme has initially prioritised sites in Northumberland, Cumbria, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire. 

The Government will trial a model connecting local hubs in rural areas, starting with primary schools. Working with the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, it has identified the first 31 schools eligible for a connection under the scheme. 

These new speeds will enable whole classes to simultaneously surf the internet on tablets as part of structured lessons, and gives schools easier access to online training and educational learning. 

Funding for the scheme comes from the Government’s National Infrastructure Productivity Fund (NPIF). The NPIF is designed to bolster UK productivity, which is crucial to raising living standards.

Read more in this week's Hexham Courant.