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Businesses across Gateshead now have access to a new fibre-optic broadband network thanks to a major scheme, it has been revealed.

The area's local authority has worked with Alcatel-Lucent on the Gateshead Technology Innovation joint venture to introduce the super-fast infrastructure across the 21-hectare site of the Baltic Business Quarter.

Gateshead Council is the first authority in England to introduce such a fibre-optic network, which offers bandwidth of up to 10Gb to users at present.

Councillor Mick Henry, leader of the council, said: "We are proud to use fibre-optic communications to connect Gateshead to the rest of the world.

"Gateshead Council is also delighted to be at the forefront of broadband technology and leading the way by being the first local authority to go live with a project like this."

BT Openreach recently launched a new microsite featuring advice and information on the benefits of fibre-optic broadband in the UK.

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