MORE than 450 properties in the Darras Hall area of Ponteland now have access to what has been described as the UK's fastest and most reliable broadband technology.

Over the past eight months, internet service provider FACTCO, has been working closely with the iNorthumberland Team at Northumberland County Council to install full fibre capable broadband to homes and businesses in Darras Hall.

Semi-retired quantity surveyor Mr Charles Laidlaw is the first resident to have his home connected by FACTCO and is now enjoying speeds up to 10 times faster than before. 

Mr Laidlaw said: “The speeds I had before were just shocking to be honest, it kept dropping out which was always embarrassing during Teams meetings when working from home.

“The connection we have now with FACTCO is chalk and cheese, we were only getting about 30Mbps for download and half that for upload, now we’re averaging at 300Mbps."

Full fibre ultrafast broadband works through fibre optic cables which run directly to properties, allowing for significantly faster speeds than standard broadband. 

Coun Richard Wearmouth, Northumberland County Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for corporate services, said: “I’m thrilled to see better connectivity being rolled out in this area."

Hexham MP Guy Opperman added: “I’m delighted to see the roll out of full fibre broadband taking shape in Northumberland. We know there is more to be done and it is only the start of a long process, but this is a big step in bringing faster connectivity to our county.”

FACTCO is now looking to investigate into further developing the network in Darras Hall.