Openreach is partnering with Earth Balance, the site owners, Northumberland County Council and iNorthumberland to deliver Ultrafast broadband to a ground-breaking development in Bedlington.
England’s first Proton Therapy Cancer Centre is already under construction on the site. Other medical facilities and a significant number of new homes are also planned and will benefit from Ultrafast speeds of up to one gigabit per second via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology funded by Openreach. The neighbouring village of Bomarsund will also be upgraded to Superfast broadband under phase two of iNorthumberland’s broadband programme.
Dr Alan Rutherford, OBE, chairman of Earth Balance, said: "The site is in the initial stages of development and we contacted Openreach as early as possible to arrange the optimum communications solution for the whole site.
"We want Bomarsund to be able to punch above its weight. This means everything from homeowners being able to enjoy smart home technology through to businesses easily and securely transferring patient data as part of a global network.”
Councillor Dave Ledger, said "Earth Balance’s plans are extremely exciting, I’m very pleased that the council’s iNorthumberland programme has been able to help in securing access to the most cutting edge infrastructure.”
Early involvement is vital
Our ambitious plans to make Ultrafast broadband speeds available to 12 million homes and businesses by the end of 2020 include providing FTTP infrastructure free to all new housing developments with 30 or more homes. This depends on developers registering their site with Openreach and working with us early in the building process, as has happened with this development.
Derek Richardson, Openreach programme director, said: "Early involvement with this incredible development has been vitally important and very exciting. Earth Balance showed great foresight by engaging us as soon as possible. Working together, we’ve been able to plan for and accommodate the future communications needs of people living and working there.
"Ultrafast broadband will provide quick access to some of the fastest speeds available and be a major boost for this new community. We’re also building a bespoke Ethernet connection for the Proton Therapy Cancer Centre which has been tailored to their needs.
"This is a great example of what can be achieved working in partnership with developers and local authorities.”