More than 24,000 homes and businesses in 34 communities are to be included in the first stages of North Yorkshire’s £40 million government-backed rural superfast broadband programme.
The towns and villages will be upgraded by the end of this summer, says BT, which won the contract to lay the fibre-based infrastructure. In addition there will also be "substantial investment" from BT in making fibre broadband more widely available in areas which already have the high-speed technology, such as York, Malton and Dringhouses.
To help businesses in North Yorkshire take advantage of the faster broadband speeds a support service has been put in place by Superfast North Yorkshire, to provide free services such as training workshops, skills master classes and business development events.
Superfast North Yorkshire, the rural broadband organisation that hired BT, said the service will demonstrate how faster broadband connections can help to develop business and increase profits by maximising efficiency and productivity.
The latest roll-outs will take the total number of premises with access to fibre broadband in the county to more than 160,000, with Superfast North Yorkshire already set to reach 10,000 homes and businesses not covered by BT’s initial commercial roll-out by the end of March.
Councillor Carl Les, chairman of Superfast North Yorkshire, said: “Investment in fibre and faster broadband speeds will be a key part of our economic revival as we finally shrug off the effects of the downturn and create a better, more prosperous future.
“Fast, sophisticated communications are the cornerstone of a successful community, helping local people to build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs."