An MP has condemned the government for not doing enough to supply super-fast broadband to people living in communities with poor ADSL services.
Guy Opperman, Hexham's Conservative MP, claimed Northumberland's Liberal Democrat authority has failed to be at the forefront of a national bidding process, the Journal reports.
He described it as "shocking" that the council has decided to delay a funding bid for high-speed broadband.
Mr Opperman said Hexham "desperately" needs the service, adding it is "beyond incompetence" that the council failed to apply.
"There are huge difficulties and gaps which affect businesses, tourism, education and all aspects of everyday life," he added.
Mr Opperman suggested the council has effectively turned down free money from the government.
There has been better news elsewhere, however, as the East Anglian Daily Times recently reported that an agreement will soon be reached between the government and local authorities in Suffolk regarding the provision of cash for high-speed internet.