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Funding boost for North Yorkshire fibre broadband project

Wednesday, September 9th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

North Yorkshire County Council has announced £21m in funding for the county’s superfast broadband rollout.

The Superfast North Yorkshire programme will benefit from up to £13m from North Yorkshire county council’s own funds, with £8m from national and European governments.

The £21m comes on top of £34.5m that has been invested as part of the drive to bring superfast broadband to 95% of premises across North Yorkshire.

County councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire's executive member for broadband, said: "This is an enviable record, which makes North Yorkshire the leading authority in the country for the reach of its high-speed broadband programme.”

The extra investment reflects the authority’s determination to ensure that everyone in the area, including communities and businesses, can benefit from high-speed connectivity.

He added: “We want North Yorkshire to be the premier place for people to live and to do business and we recognise that access to high-speed broadband is vitally important to the economic prosperity of the county.

"With this extra funding, we will be able to penetrate to the more remote parts of our very rural county, to communities and businesses which hitherto had little hope of reaping the advantages and rewards of high-speed internet access."

The project, which is funded by the government's BDUK programme, the European Regional Development Fund, the county council and BT, has switched on almost 740 fibre broadband cabinets across the county since its launch.

The county council is set to have further discussions with BT and partners to draw up contracts for the start of the third phase of the rollout.

It said that of the 5% of premises that are not due to get superfast broadband during the next phase, 3% will still benefit from fibre broadband at high speeds.

In May, Cable.co.uk reported that the programme in North Yorkshire had reached the end of its first phase, bringing access to fibre to around 150,000 premises.

The milestone meant that in total – from both the commercial and SFNY rollouts – nearly 90% of the county’s 380,000 premises can get high speed broadband, offering up to 80Mbps and beyond, with work underway on the next phase already.

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