Homes and businesses in North Yorkshire are set to benefit from government investment to help facilitate guaranteed access to high speed broadband connections across the county.
Under the UK government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) has managed to secure funding amounting to a possible total of £16.4 million to help ensure homes and businesses lying outside main commercial centres can all benefit from fast broadband speeds.
It is hoped that the funding can be matched by that from the European Regional Development Fund, bringing the total broadband financing figure up to a possible maximum of around £30 million.
North Yorkshire presents a particular challenge for those seeking to connect its rural areas to high speed broadband, both in terms of commercial and logistical considerations. The county is populated by slightly fewer than 600,000 people across an area of approximately 3,000 square miles.
It is anticipated that the BDUK funding will help attract broadband companies to invest in this previously neglected region, with a view to total roll-out of fast broadband across the county being completed by June 2012.
According to North Yorkshire Councillor Carl Les, chairman of NYCC’s specially established broadband project body, Connecting North Yorkshire, full broadband access will help enable the region to compete ‘on a level playing field with the major cities such as Leeds and London’.
Councillor Les particularly referenced internet protocol (IP) telephony benefits such as ‘video-conferencing, web-meetings’; and ‘access to a company telephony system’ (business VoIP – or voice over internet protocol), as some of the vital added value benefits Connecting North Yorkshire hoped to see established in the new high speed broadband landscape.
Whilst such benefits can be easily supplied via a business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller, they can only be fully accessible once a high speed broadband connection is in place.