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North Yorkshire UK Prep Fibre Broadband and Rural WiFi Boost

Monday, February 15th, 2021 (8:10 am) - Score 1,320
Wi-Fi icon, sign. Vector illustration. Flat design. Connect green sign. Blue background.

The North Yorkshire County Council is reportedly preparing to start a new scheme worth £3m, which among other things will rollout a free public WiFi network across 16 of the county’s “rural” market towns – stretching from Scarborough to Skipton. Ultrafast full fibre broadband will also be deployed to 6 rural business parks.

According to the Yorkshire Post, the NYCC sees the Wi-Fi deployment as being a useful tool for helping to promote local shops and services, while also being something that could support local residents during the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. not everybody has access to good broadband at home).

On top of that the programme will help, via NYnet (the council’s wholly owned delivery partner), to deploy “ultrafast fibre broadband” to six business parks – benefiting c.500 businesses – as part of an extension to their existing £15.1m Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) scheme (here); this originally only aimed to connect 370 public sector sites to a gigabit-capable fibre optic style network.

The parks earmarked to receive the technology are likely to be in the districts of Ryedale, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Scarborough, but the council says it would welcome an approach from any business park manager or owner interested in such an opportunity.

The funding for all this looks set to come from the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (YNY LEP), which was last year allocated an additional £15.4 million from the UK Government’s new £900m Getting Building Fund (GBF).

Greg White, Executive Council Member for Digital, said:

“For the county to make best use of its natural assets, it must not just embrace digital connectivity but lead the way in rural applications of digital connectivity.

Both the deployment of ‘smart places’ technology and extending the full fibre network will enable this to happen. It will be an important step towards rebalancing the relationship between urban and rural communities as well as unleashing the creativity and innovation we know exists here in the market place.”

We should point out that a large number of other Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) across England also received funding to help improve local broadband and internet connectivity services (among many other things) as part of the GBF scheme. In other words, we’ll soon start to see more announcements like this as related projects are finalised.

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Mark Jackson
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.
Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. Avatar Peter S says:

    Great, I hope the Cheshire and Warrington LEP will be one of them. With over 22,000 NGA whites and with only 4000 included in the next phase of connecting Cheshire, BDUK top up voucher funding to support community led schemes would be very welcome.

  2. Avatar NW London Person says:

    Councils are obsessed with public wifi.

    What’s the point?

    Cellullar is available in most places.

    You won’t get wifi particularly well indoors. You certainly can’t run a business on it.

    This is so 2011.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      WiFi still has its place but I’d agree that these days, in most instances, I’d sooner connect to a 4G or 5G signal than public WiFi. The exception being when in a hotel or transport hub when abroad, where mobile data might not be an option or is too expensive.

    2. Avatar Anna says:

      Newport in Wales has such a public system. You can see it for about a mile around the centre – but no one can connect to it and it seems no one wants to fix it.

      Just like the town itself unfortunately.

    3. Avatar Winston Smith says:

      Talk to a teenager, free Wifi is manna from heaven to them.

    4. Avatar FFF says:

      I agree. Hardly anyone will bother with the registration and log in it will require if 4g is there, let alone the data sharing that you will probably need to agree to for the business case to make any sense. Also, ISPs could lodge a state aid complaint as public money is distorting the market, i.e folk living in town could get free internet.

    5. Avatar WelshFive says:

      Typical Public WiFi won’t work and need about a million forms to sign up…

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