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More superfast broadband may be on the way for North Yorkshire
Tuesday 22 October 2013 20:23:38 by Andrew Ferguson

The notional final 10% is being eroded bit by bit and if funding is agreed in North Yorkshire the final 10% in that area may become the final 7%. Apparently there is a new funding available from the BDUK and ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) totalling some £5 million, which would be available to the North Yorkshire project if the County Council finds £3.1m of its own money to show a commitment to pushing coverage further.

The contract for North Yorkshire was signed in July 2012, and delivered the first cabinet in December 2012, with the original aim being to extend superfast broadband coverage to 90% of premises, and the remainder to get at least 2 Mbps. This new funding is apparently expected to allow the 90% to be extended to 93% connected at 25 Mbps or faster and our sums tell us this is an extra 11,370 that will benefit.

Good news if you are one of that 3%, but now the question will be who should benefit and who decides this. Is it BT who have the contract for North Yorkshire, or should the County Council have control over this aspect.

We are sure that there will be lots of questions asked over why money would appear to be being handed to BT yet again, when the existing project has as yet not delivered on the 90% figure. Part of this will be a desire to ensure that the BDUK money is handed out and used before the EU State Aid approval expires.

The question many will be thinking is whether this is throwing good money onto a bonfire, or will investment of some £8 million on broadband infrastructure for 11,370 properties be worthwhile. The figure per property is approaching £700 each, but it should be remembered that ERDF spending is usually ring fenced for small business purposes, so while 3% will benefit overall, it may be that the extra investment may be skewed towards ensuring that rural businesses in the last 10% benefit the most.


Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
First a comment on the financing of the NY project - which at least seems to be running reasonably well, activating cabinets across the county.

NY was one of the first counties to trumpet their invstment from BDUK, but as more and more counties have followed on, one glaring thing stands out - North Yorkshire is one of the (very) few counties that haven't put any of their own money into the project. The Harrogate-news article has a quote from the councillor that backs this up.

I'm kinda disappointed with that fact, even if the council want to gloat about it.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
As for the number of homes to benefit...

The SFNY project certainly announced a 90% coverage, and a new target of 93% would be an increase of 11,370 homes, based on a total of 379,000 premises, if true.

However, the linked article says the old target was actually 326,000, and the new target 352,000 - making the increase 26,000 (or 7%). And costing around £310 per property.

Interesting that BT's original press release said that NY had 365,000 properties.

A few discrepancies all around...
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Still, the extra £8m would represent an extra 22% to the budget, which ought not be sniffed at.

NY was one of the pilots that had the most positive attitude towards community projects. Perhaps there is a chance that the extra funds won't automatically go to BT.

I'll have to find out how to prompt my councillor to vote in favour of adding the £3m to the pot.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Finally, a link to a letter from a North Yorkshire MP to Openreach:

It seems that the fears in Wales that cabinets have been dropped from the commercial rollout are being mirrored elsewhere.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Question is really whether there was ever a binding commitment placed on Openreach and where/when it would deliver its commercial service?

If never got it signed in ceo blood, then how can they complain if plans change. Who knows maybe two cabs elsewhere got enabled for one cab not being enabled...trying to look at this positively
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