BT are investing in fibre broadband for 12 North East communities, a spokesperson said fast communications are vital.
"Fast, sophisticated communications are the cornerstone of a successful community, helping local people to build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs. This exciting technology will transform on-line education, training and leisure for households and enhance the competitiveness of local firms."
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Steelworkers at British Steel's Lackenby and Skinningrove sites welcomed the news, which could also safeguard thousands of North East jobs.
The motor manufacturer, which has a plant in Sunderland, has made an announcement to investors.
Northumbria Police have warned that drugs stolen from a pharmacy in Newcastle could cause "serious harm" if taken without a prescription.