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Superfast North Yorkshire leads the way as superfast broadband reaches 1 million more homes and businesses nationally

Press Release   •   Aug 14, 2014 00:00 BST

The Government’s rollout of superfast broadband has now reached more than 1 million homes and businesses across the UK, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, announced today.

The £1.7 billion nationwide rollout is firmly on track to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of UK homes and businesses by 2017.The rate at which the fibre technology is being rolled out under the programme is rapidly accelerating, with up to to 40,000 premises gaining access every week.

The UK-wide rollout is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future by providing access to superfast broadband in areas the private sector would not otherwise have reached. The current rural programme will deliver returns of £20 for every £1 invested, representing tremendous value for money.

Faster broadband will not only improve profits for UK businesses, but will create an additional 56,000 jobs in the UK by 2024.The work involved in the current roll out is expected to provide a £1.5 billion boost to local economies. By 2024, the government’s current investments in faster broadband will be boosting rural economies by £275 million every month, or around £9 million every day.

Superfast North Yorkshire is at the forefront of the delivery programme. Superfast North Yorkshire was allocated 3 per cent of the national BDUK funding but has delivered more than 10 per cent of the 1million homes and businesses reached by the national programme to date.

This has been achieved by working in close partnership with BT to overcome the many obstacles and difficulties encountered in rolling out broadband in England’s largest rural county.

North Yorkshire businesses and residents are also welcoming the delivery of superfast broadband. The rate of adoption of superfast broadband is nearly twice that of the national average with take up exceeding 25 per cent in those areas that have been live with fibre broadband for a year.

Current UK coverage of superfast broadband is the highest of the top 5 European economies and we also lead our European counterparts in terms of take up, competitiveness and pricing. But Government recognises that there is still more to do.

Current plans will ensure superfast speeds for 95 per cent of the UK, but Government firmly believes that its transformation of the digital landscape should reach every area of the UK. Focus is now on the “final 5 per cent” – those areas in the most remote and hardest to reach places in the UK that are not covered by existing plans. £10m has been invested in a series of pilot projects currently under way in 8 locations across the nation to investigate the best way of tackling these areas. The findings will be used to inform future funding bids to ensure everyone benefits from the transformation of the digital landscape currently underway.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “More than a million homes and businesses have now benefitted as a result of Government’s investment in superfast broadband.

“It is totally transforming the way we live and work. You can download feature length films faster, chatting online with family and friends around the world using VOIP is more reliable and households can go online simultaneously without the connection slowing down or dropping out.”

“For Businesses, superfast speeds are boosting profits through increased sales, reduced overheads and accessing markets abroad for the first time.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “The Superfast North Yorkshire programme is making strong progress, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas. The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together. BT has brought technical expertise to the table as well as millions of pounds of investment and, if we can go further, we will do so. This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure.”

For further information on the Superfast North Yorkshire programme visit www.superfastnorthyorkshire.com

END


Notes for Editors:
For photos of the Superfast North Yorkshire project fibre deployment and for generic pictures of the BDUK deployment, please go here; https://www.flickr.com/photos/107803477@N08/sets/
For more details about fibre broadband roll-out plans go to www.bt.com/furtherwithfibre

For further information please contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be found at http://www.bt.com/newscentre


About Superfast North Yorkshire
Superfast North Yorkshire was created in July 2012 following the signing of the contract between North Yorkshire County Council and BT, which will see a total fibre broadband investment in the county expected to reach around £70 million.
North Yorkshire is the first county in the UK successfully to deploy Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds, which will be used to extend the roll-out of faster broadband across the county. The project will reach those areas outside of any commercial roll-out using a partnership approach to ensure all communities have access to the fastest possible broadband speeds.
The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf