Gigabyte-capable broadband coming to Richmondshire

Public buildings in Richmond and Leyburn are to get new gigabyte capable  full fibre broadband connections as part of a £15m boost to North Yorkshire’s digital infrastructure.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and NYnet applied for funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) fund.

The Chancellor announced in his spring statement that the bid had been successful.

The money will be used to connect nearly 400 public sector sites with fibre broadband across 16 towns.

Whilst 95 per cent of UK premises can now get superfast broadband, only three per cent have access to gigabyte capable  full fibre infrastructure.

With the need for faster connectivity expected to dramatically increase over the coming years, the LFFN programme aims to boost investment in full fibre across the whole of the UK.

Experts say that connecting public building to the new service will provide the basis for the expansion of the faster speeds to the wider community.

The proposed towns are Harrogate and Knaresborough, Skipton, Northallerton, Ripon, Richmond, Leyburn, Scarborough, Malton and Norton, Whitby, Easingwold, Thirsk, Selby, Tadcaster, Pickering, Stokelsly/Great Ayton and Settle.

The leader of NYCC, Councillor Carl Les, said: “We had strong support for our bid from all relevant North Yorkshire partners including the MPs, boroughs, districts, health and blue light services. This was very helpful to the strength of our bid.’’

NYCC’s executive member for broadband, Councillor Don Mackenzie, said: “The success of this bid underlines yet again the progress which NYCC and NYnet have made in creating a very strong digital infrastructure in the county, which is good for our residents and for our businesses.’’

The next step after finalising the agreement with DCMS is to undertake a procurement process to get the best value for North Yorkshire.

“This be the focus of activity this year with the deployment of the fibre likely to start next year.’’