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First UK Publicly Funded BT Superfast Broadband FTTC Cabinet Goes Live

Friday, Dec 14th, 2012 (7:52 am) - Score 944

The North Yorkshire (England) village of Ainderby Steeple has become the first UK community to deploy a new superfast broadband ISP service by using public funds from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office. The money helped to upgrade one of BT’s local street cabinets with the latest up to 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology.

A further 250 homes and businesses in nearby Selby will also benefit from the same work, which wouldn’t have been possible without state aid. Both areas were previously considered to be commercially unviable for inclusion in BT’s separate £2.5bn (privately funded) roll-out to 66% of the UK.

The Ainderby Steeple project forms part of the wider Superfast North Yorkshire scheme, which aims to reach 90% of local homes and businesses in the county with similar “fibre broadband” services by the end of 2014 (sadly the last 10% will only get speeds of at least 2Mbps). The overall scheme is funded by £17.8m from BDUK, £8.6m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and BT has also invested £10m.

Ed Vaizey MP, Communications Minister, said:

This is a landmark moment for not only North Yorkshire, but for rural areas around UK, as the nation-wide roll-out of superfast broadband begins. High-speed broadband connectivity will provide a major boost to local economies, helping create the right conditions for growth, and it’s fitting that the first village to benefit from the Government’s £530m rural broadband scheme is located in the country’s largest rural county.”

William Hague, Local MP, added:

This is a significant step for Ainderby Steeple. High-speed digital connectivity is an essential requirement for our long-term success. At a time when our local economy needs every possible boost, important developments such as the Superfast North Yorkshire programme’s investment in super-fast broadband offers the potential to create new opportunities, services and growth.”

The effort became possible after the government was finally granted EU State aid approval for its broadband plans in November 2012, which allowed £530m of public money to be released for related projects around the country.

The North Yorkshire scheme might be the first to benefit but there are almost 50 other local authority projects, with near identical plans, that stretch across the United Kingdom. Sadly most of those have yet to award the relevant contracts and others remain critical of the fact that BT appears to be the only viable bidder.

As a side note, any homes with FTTC lines will also be able to order BT’s 330Mbps capable FTTP service ‘on demand’ from next spring 2013. However the installation fee is likely to put most ordinary home owners off (£1,500+).

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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