Residents of the rural northeast of England are receiving a major internet connectivity boost.

The news comes as B4RN North East extends its Gigabit Network from Lancashire and Cumbria into parts of Northumberland and County Durham.

So far, the initiative has already seen the connection of the Allen Valleys, and the roll-out continues into areas of Barrasford, Kirkwhelpington, and Woodburn.

Recently approved further projects, part of the government's roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband in hard-to-reach regions, will soon extend the network even further.

B4RN, showcases a proven track record, having successfully connected more than 13,000 customers so far.

The project, run through a Community Benefit Society, is powered by government vouchers, community investment, and grants.

The three phases (Image: B4RN)

Beyond the robust connectivity of 1,000 megabits per second, the income generated from the service supports the operation of the organisation and any surplus is invested back into B4RN communities.

B4RN connections and services have been installed in various places, including primary schools, worship places, and village halls since 2011 without any charge.

Lynne Rawles, B4RN’s volunteer champion for Barrasford, Kirkwhelpington, and Woodburn, said: "Our story started with a need for better broadband in a poorly served remote area of Northumberland."

She added: "B4RN was the only one to commit to supply every property in each parish no matter how distant and remote."

Ms Rawles added: "We are very proud of the work being done now."

The organisation is driven by the contribution of volunteers, committed local landowners and community investors.

The work is trying to help with digital poverty which is found more in older adults, low income households and rural communities.

The community volunteers from the local support desk in the north of England play a pivotal role in this process.

A social tariff is provided for those who require it, offering the same connection for half the price.

The digital transformation is also catered for as B4RN connections are future-proofed for the digital switchover from analogue landlines to upgraded landline services using digital technology.

B4RN Voice is the digital telephone service that runs over their own fibre network.