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North Yorkshire County Council and its wholly-owned company NYnet have signed the contract for phase three of its Superfast North Yorkshire (SFNY) project with Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network.

The contract will deliver superfast broadband coverage with speeds of more than 30Mbps to an additional 14,239 homes and businesses in North Yorkshire.

In partnership with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Government’s broadband delivery programme, and the EU, the council is to be the principal funder of the £20.5m phase three. The contract will receive funding of £12.1m from the County Council, £7.3m from BDUK and £1m from the European Regional Development Fund. Openreach will invest a further £9.2 million to deliver the new infrastructure.

This latest phase of the roll-out will mean that 95 per cent of all homes and businesses in the county will have access to superfast broadband. At the completion of phase two of the Superfast North Yorkshire project at the end of December 2017, about 90 per cent of properties in the county could receive superfast broadband. 12,500 of the phase three connections will benefit from having fibre optic cables linked directly to the property, capable of ultrafast speeds up to 1Gbps – enough to stream 200 HD movies at the same time.

The news comes as take-up of superfast broadband in phase one premises funded by Superfast North Yorkshire has risen above 50 per cent, 15 per cent ahead of the national average take-up.

Councillor Don Mackenzie, the County Council’s Executive Member for Broadband, said: “The outcome of the phase three procurement is remarkable and puts the quality of broadband provision to some of our most remote communities on to a new, much higher level.

“It is very good news indeed for those residents who have been waiting patiently for SFNY to get to them and their patience is likely to be rewarded with some of the best broadband quality in the country.”

“Openreach will now be compiling a list of communities, which are likely to be included in the phase three programme and which we expect to be able to publish in April.

“The council and SFNY will consider further additional investment in superfast for the residual five per cent of premises likely to be excluded from the phase three list, so that they too have the possibility of receiving high quality broadband between now and 2021, when phase three concludes.’’

Steve Haines, managing director of Next Generation Access for Openreach, said: “This major investment is a vital new chapter in the story of rolling out high-speed fibre broadband across North Yorkshire.

“A massive amount has already been achieved since the Superfast North Yorkshire partnership was launched six years ago with 90 per cent of households and businesses now able to access superfast broadband across the county. Research shows that the first phases of the contract have already added £7 to the North Yorkshire economy for every £1 invested by Superfast North Yorkshire. However, we recognise the need to continue building on this success.

“As we reach further into the most remote areas, the challenge becomes greater, but we are committed to rolling out both superfast and ultrafast broadband as far as possible. This third phase will run the length and breadth of the county, reaching many of the remaining communities most in need of high-speed broadband.”

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