Ainderby Steeple in North Yorkshire has become the first village to have its superfast broadband connection lit up as part of the government's £530m plan to bring high speed services to areas of the UK that might otherwise miss out.
The 80Mbit/s fibre-connected cabinet has been switched on in Ainderby Steeple three months ahead of schedule, as part of the Superfast North Yorkshire programme. A further 250 homes and businesses are due to be connected to the high-speed service before Christmas.
“This is a landmark moment for not only North Yorkshire, but for rural areas around the UK, as the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband begins,” said Ed Vaizey, communications minister.
Superfast North Yorkshire was awarded £17.8m from the government's broadband pot, with BT investing a further £10m and £8.6m coming from the European Regional Development Fund.
The programme to deliver superfast services to rural communities in the UK has been a lynchpin of the government's IT strategy. The government has set itself a target of ensuring 90 percent of the population has access to services of 25Mbit/s by 2015.
However, the programme has not been without its problems. The European Commission only approved the state funding for the programme in November, and several telecoms providers have dropped out of the bidding for contracts, leaving the field open to BT.