William Eichler 26 October 2015

Council concerned over 'outdated' digital inclusion report

Northumberland County Council has criticised the use of ‘outdated’ information published this week on levels of access to broadband in the county.

The Go ON UK Digital Exclusion Heatmap, released last week, showed the likely level of digital exclusion at local authority level across the UK. It states that 13.8% of households in Northumberland are without access to basic broadband.

Northumberland CC contests this figure which, it claims, is based on historic 2013 OFCOM data collected before the launch of the authority’s £20m broadband rollout programme.

The latest data from ‘Think Broadband’ shows that 2.1% of households are now without access to basic broadband in Northumberland.

Cllr Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County council, said: ‘it’s important people have access to the right information and it’s concerning this report has used historic and outdated data which doesn’t reflect the progress we’ve made over the last two years.’

The council will be launching the second phase of its iNorthumberland programme in January 2016 and by the end of the rollout hopes that more than 149,000 premises within the county will have access to fibre broadband.

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