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Northumberland County Council is part of the North of Tyne Digital Growth and Innovation Programme - a £10 million investment to support the growth of the digital sector across the North of Tyne by:

  • Breaking down the barriers for start-ups
  • Raising aspirations and demonstrating the opportunities in digital for all
  • Kick-starting digital innovation
  • Providing a seamless full service and journey for individuals and companies
  • Growing the talent pipeline
  • Attracting digital and tech companies to the area and creating new jobs
As part of this programme Northumberland can expect to benefit from partnerships with 14 organisations all with expertise in the sector.
Commsworld – a leading UK telecoms network provider - has been appointed to roll out the Council’s new WAN contract - the fibre connectivity which allows staff to safely and securely connect to the internet and share electronic data.

From September 2023, Commsworld will work on upgrading all 146 of Northumberland County Council sites and will manage the service over a 20-year period.

The contract includes installing 262km of new fibre infrastructure across the county – passing more than 120,000 premises which will enable them to access Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) services, benefiting people living and working in these areas.

Commsworld will work with external partners to deliver FTTP services to properties in Morpeth, Ashington, Bedlington and Blyth as well as to 50,000 most digitally isolated rural properties in the county by December 2026.
Having the confidence to go online can unlock lots of potential benefits.

In order to support digital inclusion throughout our communities, Commsworld is investing in the employment of two individuals over three years as part of the WAN contract. These roles will be hosted by Community Action Northumberland (CAN) and the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE).

This will enable us to develop and deliver a sustainable digital programme for the communities of Northumberland. The employees will work closely with the iNorthumberland team to:
  • Recruit digital champions
  • Offer training for residents/community groups
  • Organise events
  • Explore examples of best practice that could benefit the county
Northumberland still suffers from “not -spots” where there is either no mobile phone service or one that is limited to voice use only.

The Shared Rural Network (SRN) is a collaborative programme between the Government and the four main mobile network operators (MNOs) - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone which aims to:
  • Provide coverage to an additional 280,000 premises and for people in cars on an additional 16,000km of the UK’s roads.
  • Improve geographic coverage to 79% of Areas of Natural Beauty, up from 51%, and 74% of National Parks from 41%, benefitting millions of visitors every year.
SRN aims to improve 4G mobile coverage for people living, working and travelling in poorly served rural areas.

Shared Rural Network overview

Social tariffs are broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits.

Click here to see if you are eligible see the Ofcom social tariffs page.

Could a broadband social tariff save you money?