The Digital Durham initiative is celebrating 36,000 homes and businesses benefitting from the rollout of fibre broadband in the area since it was launched a year ago.
The £25m project seeks to transform broadband speeds for those living and operating businesses in County Durham, Gateshead, Sunderland and the Tees Valley.
Since then, more than 100 planners and engineers from BT’s Openreach business have been laying around 200 kilometres of optical fibre cable, as well as installing 235 new fibre broadband cabinets across the area.
Investment for the scheme comes from BT (£5.9M), Durham County Council and Gateshead (£7.8M), the government Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme (£9.1m) and public sector partners in Sunderland and Tees Valley (£1.3m).
“It is great to hear stories where people are already seeing such a difference from upgrading to superfast broadband,” claimed cabinet member for corporate services Councillor Jane Brown.
“No doubt many families will see new technology enter the household over this Christmas, so I would urge people to look at whether they too can benefit from faster Internet access,” she added.
Elsewhere in the UK, Nottinghamshire County Council has revealed its intentions to extend its own rollout of fibre broadband.
The local authority has drawn up proposals that may see thousands of extra homes and businesses receive access to faster broadband.
The local authority and BT are currently six months into the delivery phase of the £20m Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme.
This initiative will see 95% of premises in the county equipped with fast fibre broadband by March 2016.
It is believed the newly planned £5m investment to stretch the initiative further so that the fibre Internet is available to 97% of homes and businesses instead.
“Good availability of broadband for homes and businesses is a top priority for the County Council,” claimed chair of the economic development committee Diana Meale.
“Living and working in one of the best connected counties in the country has numerous benefits for local residents, economic growth and job creation,” she added.