Digital Durham

Digital Durham, a project to bring high-speed broadband to the area, is to begin a month ahead of schedule.

Digital Durham is a project that aims to bring high-speed internet connections to the County Durham area. It has been launched in association with British Telecom to improve existing capabilities and bring brand new connections to others. The project involves completely replacing some older infrastructure and replacing with new and more modern systems that can cope with higher speed connections, however some systems currently in place may simply need to be changed rather than replaced to manage.

Currently there are very large differences within County Durham with regards to broadband connections depending on the area, within Consett specifically there are vastly varying internet speeds between Delves Lane and Digital DurhamMedomsley, for example. Delves Lane has had access to higher-speed connections for over a year whereas Medomsley is yet to receive any upgrades.

The Digital Durham was originally planned to begin in April and branch out over the course of 9 separate phases, but the first phase is now set to start in March.  Some of the problems surrounding the installation of high-speed broadband is that existing systems and wiring aren’t of the same standard and can’t be used for more modern connections – therefore entirely new systems will need to be put into place to account for modernisation.

Councils across the UK are hoping for similar projects to be launched in the near future to bring the average speed in the UK as a whole up to speed with Europe and the rest of the world. Broadband speeds across the UK are typically below the European average of 19.5 Mbps – the project aims to provide 90% of properties with a 24 Mbps minimum speed before 2016 and the remaining properties with upwards of 2 Mbps, with plans to increase the base speed to 24 Mbps across the region by the end of 2017.

For more information about the project and the upcoming phases of the process please visit the Digital Durham website.


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