Home North East Tees Valley community deal with BT

Tees Valley community deal with BT

A partnership between local residents and BT is to make high-speed broadband available to more than 130 households in a Tees Valley community.

Openreach, BT’s local network business, will install new fibre optic cabling and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology for the project at Meridian Way and adjoining roads in Stockton-on-Tees.

The cost of delivering the new technology has been covered by investment from the residents themselves and Openreach, as the housing development is not included in any current fibre broadband roll-out plans.

The co-funded deal at Meridian Way is expected to see the first residents get fibre broadband speeds of up to 80 Mbps within the next 12 months. It is part of BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships programme, which has already seen BT sign agreements with more than 200 local communities and organisations to bring fibre broadband to some of the UK’s most challenging areas.

Meridian Way resident Brian Green, who, with his wife Jackie, led the campaign for the upgrade, said: “Broadband speeds are more important now than ever before so improving our internet speeds was vital to this community. Once the work is complete, the technology will better support people working from home and those wanting to connect several devices to the internet at the same time. Whether it’s downloading the latest TV box sets, Skyping friends and family, shopping or researching online, everything is going to be faster and easier. We are counting down the days until the upgrade.”

Simon Roberson, BT’s North East regional partnership director, said: “We are working with communities, such as Meridian Way, up and down the region. Rolling out fibre broadband to as many communities as possible is one of our top priorities and working directly with a group of residents like this is just one of the ways of making that happen. People here have shown great determination to go ahead with this exciting project. Fibre broadband opens up endless opportunities for those living here.

“Our ambition is to ‘never say no’ to any community that wants superfast broadband, and we’re really pleased we found a way forward in Meridian Way which testifies to that approach. We’re keen to have conversations with other communities who might benefit from this approach.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for infrastructure delivery, said: “It is great to be able to work with communities like Meridian Way to find a fibre broadband solution. We’re working on hundreds of similar community fibre partnership programmes across the UK, which are bringing faster fibre internet access to even more homes and businesses. Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible in the UK to allow families and businesses to do even more online.”