Ten year project to bring broadband to North Yorkshire cited as key to securing future of communities

North Yorkshire leaders say the milestone is crucial to ensuring that isolated and rural communities can remain sustainable well into the future.

The multi-million pound scheme to dramatically enhance broadband speeds in the county began a decade ago, with the third and final phase of a partnership between North Yorkshire County Council and Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, now completed.

Since work began on the Superfast North Yorkshire program in 2012, more than 190,000 premises have been upgraded on Openreach’s digital network to provide faster and more reliable broadband connections; 10,000 premises are connected to a new ultrafast ‘full fiber’ network with speeds of up to one gigabit and the network is available to the majority of premises in the county’s two National Parks covering the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

From far left, Mike Poole of Openreach, Matthew Lovegrove of Openreach and Alastair Taylor of NYnet with colleagues from Building Digital UK, NYnet and Openreach near Boggle Hole, close to Robin Hood’s Bay, which is one of the areas to benefit from the roll- out of superfast broadband.

North Yorkshire County Council’s leader, Coun Carl Les said: “The issue of poor broadband connectivity has been a long-standing problem for many parts of North Yorkshire, especially in communities in deeply rural areas.

“But the county council is firmly committed to trying to provide improved connectivity and this has been clearly demonstrated by the Superfast North Yorkshire programme, which was embarked upon a decade ago.

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“But they are also a necessity to ensure our rural communities have a future, helping to attract families and younger people to live in the countryside to ensure services and facilities such as schools, village stores and pubs can continue to operate.

“We have made huge improvements for tens of thousands of businesses and households, but the work does not stop here and we will continue to look at how we can introduce better connections for the remaining parts of the county.”

Challenges have been amplified as Openreach engineers have had to ensure that their work has fitted around the farming calendar as well as the busiest times of the tourism season to keep disruption to a minimum.

During the Superfast North Yorkshire project, more than £29m has been invested from a combination of sources.

Grants have been obtained from Building Digital UK which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development operated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Openreach.

Openreach partnership manager for Yorkshire and Humber, Matthew Lovegrove, said: “The success of Superfast North Yorkshire is a great achievement and testament to the team who have worked so hard for the past 10 years.”

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