Press release

Rural broadband comes to North Yorkshire

First Government-funded project goes live.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Government’s rural superfast broadband programme reached a major milestone today as Ainderby Steeple in North Yorkshire became the first community to be connected, with download speeds of up to 80mbps.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey, who unveiled the cabinet that will provide superfast access to 90 rural homes, said:

Ainderby Steeple is mentioned in the Doomsday Book.  Unfortunately, until now, the people of this magnificent rural community would have struggled to find out more about their history online because of frustratingly slow download speeds.  Thanks to our £530m investment in rural broadband, that is all about to change and the people of Ainderby Steeple can enjoy download speeds of a stunning 80mbps. 

Ainderby Steeple is just the beginning.  Over the coming months we will approve the procurement of more than 40 rural broadband programmes, meaning that 90 per cent of UK homes and businesses will be connected at superfast speeds and the remainder at speeds of at least 2mbps.

The Government is investing £530 million to help take superfast broadband to rural areas and a further £150m for ultrafast urban broadband schemes, giving the UK the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015.

The Ainderby Steeple project is being delivered by Superfast North Yorkshire, a partnership between North Yorkshire County Council and BT.  The partnership has been awarded £17.8m for rural broadband projects across North Yorkshire by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Government’s broadband delivery unit.  BT has invested £10m with a further £8.6 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Government allocated £530 million to help take superfast broadband to rural areas.  In August last year we announced how much each English county had been allocated to help roll-out superfast broadband.  Details of the progress being made by each local authority is available here.
  2. The Government is also investing £150 million in creating ‘super-connected cities’ with 80-100 Mbps broadband and city-wide high-speed mobile connectivity.  In March the Chancellor announced the UK’s first ten ‘super-connected cities’. In December he announced a further twelve cities.
  3. DCMS defines ‘superfast broadband’ as broadband with potential headline download access speeds greater than 24 Mbps.
  4. The market will provide superfast broadband to around two thirds of the country.  It is essential the whole country shares in the benefits of high-speed internet access.  The Government is providing additional funding to make it economically viable for telecoms companies to roll-out broadband to the whole of the UK.  Our investment will help provide 90 per cent of homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband and for everyone in the UK to have access to at least 2Mbps.
  5. The Government was given EU State aid approval for its broadband plans in November 2012.  This means that local authorities can now sign procurement contracts with contractors and begin delivery work on their new broadband infrastructure projects.  Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has planned a ‘pipeline’ of local authority projects which are currently going into procurement at a rate of approximately one a week. 

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Published 13 December 2012