William Eichler 29 July 2016

Council commits millions to superfast broadband plans

North Yorkshire has agreed to multi-million pound superfast broadband plans in order to improve internet access across the county.

The county council has committed £12m of funding from its own coffers for phase three of its Superfast North Yorkshire programme.

£7.3m will also come from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and £1m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The council’s decision comes on the heels of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) recent call to Whitehall to re-affirm its commitment to minimum broadband speeds across the country.

Phases one and two of North Yorkshire’s project are set to bring high quality broadband with a minimum speed of 25Mbps to 91% of premises across the county by next June. This cost £34.5m. Phase three promises to take the coverage up to 95-96%.

The council has also put aside a further sum of £682,000 to target communities where there are anomalies in coverage—so-called ‘digital twilight zones'.

North Yorkshire’s executive member for broadband, Cllr Don Mackenzie, said: ‘We have made the most progress of all the organisations as part of the BDUK programme and have the best track record.

‘It is a top priority to make North Yorkshire an even better place to live and do business in. We are helping business and we are helping tourism.’

He added superfast broadband also benefits education and healthcare.

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