North Yorkshire is to begin rolling out superfast broadband after securing funding totalling £70m including £10m from BT, which won the contract to bring superfast services to homes and businesses in the region.
The county has been one of the most proactive in attempting to roll out broadband as it was one of the first pilot counties for the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) system, helping it secure funding of £17.8m.
On top of this is gathered £8.6m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), while BT had already promised investment of £34m in parts of the county where rollouts are commercially viable.
North Yorkshire County Council's corporate director for central services, John Moore, explained to V3 that BT won the contract after it proved it could cover the largest area of the county, beating Fujitsu in the bidding.
"Because we have such a challenging geographical area we said to the bidders: it's not about having super high-speed services into a few business parks but about getting services to areas where previously there was nothing or just patchy 2Mbit/s services," he explained.
Moore also revealed the county will receive an additional £3m from the ERDF to help promote the uptake of broadband services among businesses in the region.
"If we're going to spend £70m on the network we want people to use it so this funding will help us explain the benefits of broadband such as job creation," he added.
The council will begin working with BT's engineering team on Wednesday to plan the rollouts of the services and is aiming to start physical work from the autumn and have the first customers online by 2013 and be finished by early 2014.
The government will be hoping the work of the council inspires others to push ahead with their projects as it aims to ensure 90 per cent of the UK can access speeds of 25Mbit/s and above by 2015.
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