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Superfast broadband on its way to 90% of North Yorkshire homes
A PROJECT to deliver superfast fibre optic broadband to communities across North Yorkshire is on track, officials say.
NYnet, a scheme to improve internet services in the county, aims to have 90 per cent of homes and businesses able to access 25Mpbs broadband by the end of 2014, with everyone receiving at least 2Mbps.
NYnet project manager Ian Marr told councillors at North Yorkshire County Council Richmondshire area committee on Wednesday that he was hopeful of achieving that target.
The meeting heard that BT, which is contracted to roll out the infrastructure, had installed 180 of 690 fibre optic cabinets, meaning 50,000 properties out of 149,000 were now able to connect to superfast broadband.
Although BT was contracted to cover 90 per cent of the county, the company decided which towns and villages would be connected to the fibre optic network based on commercial reasons, councillors were told.
This meant rural communities with few inhabitants and an outdated existing telephone network were at risk of missing out.
Mr Marr also stressed that once a community was connected to fibre optic broadband, residents and businesses still needed to buy a superfast service from an internet service provider.
Government funding was potentially available to increase access to superfast broadband beyond the 90 per cent, the meeting was told.
More fibre optic cables could be used to increase the coverage, with community wireless schemes and satellite broadband other options being examined by NYnet,
County councillor Carl Les, NYnet board member, said: “I'm very optimistic that we're going to get some excellent UK Government money to allow us to put some more dots on the map.
“I'm hopeful that we will have a narrow digital divide by the end of the project.”
Councillor Roger Harrison-Topham said he received regular complaints from residents of Redmire about their broadband connection and asked Mr Marr if the village would receive superfast broadband.
Mr Marr said Redmire was due to receive a fibre optic cabinet before the end of 2014, although this was subject to a survey by BT.
The meeting also heard that BT Openreach had agreed to improve broadband services in Arkengarthdale, although the area was not scheduled to a receive fibre optic connection.
An online map of areas due to receive superfast broadband by the end of 2014 has gone live at superfastnorthyorkshire.com/where-and-when
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