North Yorkshire becomes first county to deploy BDUK funds
North Yorkshire is set to become the first English county to put Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funding into action after awarding its super-fast broadband contract to BT.
The county council's agreement with BT takes its total amount of broadband funding to around £70 million, with the telecoms giant committing about £23 million to improving connectivity in the area to date.
BT will commence the network rollout with immediate effect, building on its commercial investment in North Yorkshire to bring fibre optic broadband with speeds of up to 80Mbps to 90 per cent of local homes and businesses by the end of 2014.
Currently, the county's average downstream speed stands at 6.6Mbps, while 17 per cent of properties receive less than 2Mbps.
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Super-fast broadband is transforming the way we do business and live our lives.
"We want to make sure that no community is left behind, which is why government is investing £17.8 million to help revolutionise the infrastructure in North Yorkshire."
The county has become the latest to award its publicly funded broadband contract to BT.
Lancashire County Council has also selected the company to deliver fibre broadband to 97 per cent of properties by the end of 2014.