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North Yorkshire UK Seek Extra Funding to Extend BDUK Broadband Scheme

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 (8:54 am) - Score 771
yorkshire-uk-county-map

The Superfast North Yorkshire project, which is working with BT to make superfast broadband (25Mbps+ FTTC/P) services available to 90% of local premises by 2014 and “100% of businesses and citizens … by 2017“, hope to secure another £8.1 million to help achieve the projects final goal.

Under the current plan (original announcement) BTOpenreach will need to upgrade around 700 street cabinets and this should eventually help to extend its existing superfast broadband service to 365,000 premises (total for the county is 379,000). So far around 24,000 of those homes and businesses should already have been connected as part of phase one deployment (here).

The scheme is now said to be seeking additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office and EU (£5 million) but this will only be granted if the local council agrees to cough up another £3.1 million of its own investment to help connect an additional 26,000 premises with superfast speeds (i.e. 93% coverage and beyond).

Councillor Carl Les said:

This is a very tempting offer to extend the coverage of superfast broadband. There would unfortunately still be premises in most parts of the county which wouldn’t get superfast access as a result of this expansion, but while it falls short of what would obviously be our ideal of 100% coverage, it would mean thousands more homes and business enjoying high speed connections by 2014, with all the associated economic and domestic benefits.

If this new proposal is accepted, North Yorkshire will be getting a first-class broadband network worth in excess of £60m, in return for a capital investment by the County Council of just over £3 million.”

It’s important to stress that discussions like this are not unique to North Yorkshire and all Local Authorities are being encouraged to consider additional investment, which follows confirmation of an additional £250m to the BDUK scheme earlier this year (i.e. this is to be spent between 2015 and 2017 to help cover 95% of the UK with superfast broadband by 2017).

The County Council’s Executive will vote on the issue next week (29th October) and already looks almost certain to approve the extra funding. Sadly the final 7% would still be left with standard broadband download speeds of at least 2Mbps unless even more money is found.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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