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North Yorkshire village first to benefit from government broadband funding

Rural councils across the UK have been allocated portions of a £530 million government fund

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A village in North Yorkshire is the first to reap the benefits of rural "superfast" broadband funding from a government scheme.

Rural councils across the UK have been allocated portions of a £530 million government fund to finance extra fast broadband connections that can not be solely provided by the private sector.

The 90 homes in Ainderby Steeple are now getting broadband connections of up to 80mbps via a BT-installed street cabinet.

North Yorkshire County Council was allocated £17.8 million by government body Broadband Delivery UK, with another £10 million invested by BT. A further £8.6 million has come from the European Regional Development Fund.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey was in the village to unveil the broadband street cabinet. He said: “Ainderby Steeple is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Unfortunately, until now, the people of this magnificent rural community would have struggled to find out more about their history online because of frustratingly slow download speeds."

Over the coming months, said Vaizey, the government will approve the procurement of more than 40 other rural broadband programmes. The government is also investing a further £150m in over 20 urban superfast broadband schemes.

The government is aiming to create the widest superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, while also giving everyone access to a minimum of at least 2 Mbps. Most superfast connections will however be much slower than the ones launched in North Yorkshire, with the government aiming for a more modest 24 Mbps or "potentially" higher.

The whole £530 million rural broadband scheme, which had to pass state aid funding procedures, was finally cleared by the European Commission in November. The North Yorkshire scheme had already been given given state aid approval though, so was first out of the blocks.


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