The European Commission has given the green light to public subsidies to support the development of an advanced broadband network in North Yorkshire.
The NYnet project, http://www.nynet.co.uk/Default.aspx a public-private partnership led by North Yorkshire council, aims to create a fibreoptic core network in an area where only a minority of businesses and consumers currently have broadband access. Commercial operators have been reluctant to tackle the geographical and economic barriers to providing broadband in rural parts of the region.
The commission http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm said state aid for the scheme was unlikely to cause undue distortion of competition. North Yorkshire’s local authorities will provide financial support for the construction and operation of the network, which is likely to be co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. http://www.erdf.communities.gov.uk/
Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes commented: “This advanced network for the public sector can be used by all commercial operators. It will help the economic development of North Yorkshire by allowing citizens, businesses and government bodies to reap the full benefits of advanced broadband connectivity. The project is fully in line with the commission’s policy to promote broadband in under-served areas.”
The North Yorkshire local authorities will retain the right to use the network for public sector needs for 10 years but will grant wholesale access to operators and internet service providers.