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Connecting North Yorkshire Update January 2012

January 27, 2012

Please find below the latest update from the Connecting North Yorkshire team within North Yorkshire County Council. Any questions about this should be directed to the team at North Yorkshire.

Connecting North Yorkshire Update January 2012

‘Breaking the digital divide’

www.northyorks.gov.uk/broadband

Welcome…

 

to the first Connecting North Yorkshire project update of the new year.

Even though things inevitably quieten down over the festive period we have still been making significant progress with Connecting North Yorkshire and there is plenty of new information inside this edition. Please also remember to look at the Connecting North Yorkshire website for additional information – and we’d also welcome comments and input from colleagues for future editions so if you have anything you’d like tell us about please email louise.heaps@northyorks.gov.uk

Many of you will have seen BT’s announcements that it is upgrading its broadband network in North Yorkshire and York and has named a number of exchanges, mostly market towns.  These currently include Stokesley, Northallerton, Thirsk. Malton, Filey, Scarborough, Haxby, Melrosegate, Dringhouses, Selby, Harrogate, York, Skipton. Similar announcements regarding exchanges which overlap the county include Ilkley, Otley, Knottingley and Askern.

These planned upgrades are very welcome and may offer an opportunity to make our BDUK money go further. Access to fast broadband is essential for our local firms and businesses especially in rural areas and provides access to new markets with the potential to create jobs. Connecting North Yorkshire’s project aim is to ensure that we get 100% coverage by 2017 and we know that will not be possible without public, private and community sector investment.

Whilst the improvements in exchanges are clearly welcome, we will continue to work on the basis there will be many communities surrounding them that remain commercially unattractive to BT and other commercial organisations and therefore require further efforts from the Connecting North Yorkshire project and the wider community.                     

 

County Councillor Carl Les
Chair of Connecting North Yorkshire

 

North Yorkshire’s Major Network Procurement Update

 

Just to remind you all, in addition to European ERDF funds,North Yorkshirehas been awarded £17.8 million by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), a part of Central Government set up to deliver the national broadband strategy. This money is being used to procure a broadband supplier who will rollout a fit for purpose broadband network to as many small businesses and households inNorth Yorkshireas possible.

The procurement process is well underway and remains on-track with our timetable.  One of our key tasks at the start of 2012 is to assess the detailed proposals we are receiving.  We expect the procurement process to be completed and a broadband supplier appointed by July 2012, with the broadband network rollout starting soon after and being delivered over the following couple of years.  That means some areas will receive the new service earlier than others but that information is not yet determined.  We will of course share that information once it is available.

 

Community Broadband Schemes

 

The next three community schemes in Marton cum Grafton/Great Ouseburn, Darley to Appletreewick andRosedaleare on track to connect their high speed customers over the next couple of months.  This sees our total hit 10 schemes across the county.

We also have a strong scheme developing in Upper Wharfedale.  There are still some loose ends to tie up around community engagement and the viable business case, but we are hopeful of this becoming the 11th community scheme CNY has been involved in.  We are especially keen to see if Littondale can be included in this proposal in as it may help us to reach even more people with scarce public money. Parts of Littondale benefited from a BT copper cable upgrade a few years ago, but this is less future proof and the current benefits around Arncliffe are not shared in other parts of this dale.

There were early suggestions this scheme might include Grassington and Bordley, although this is now unlikely to be the case. Grassington has the potential to benefit from the BDUK funded upgrade and it is considered inappropriate to direct public funding to a scheme which has a higher chance of other public money.  Geographically, Bordley has the potential to be served from an existing network coming over from Malham. Anyone in these areas who wants to register their interest or find more out about the areas covered should initially make contact with the District Coordinator Andrew Laycock at alaycock@cravendc.gov.uk

Our Framework procurement to attract more community based internet service providers to North Yorkshireis on track.  This will enable us, from the summer, to run competitive tenders for clusters of communities with a viable and demonstrated need for better broadband.  If you feel your community could be part of one of these clusters your first step is to make contact with your District Community Coordinator you can find their contact details here.  If you are an Internet Service Provider interested in getting on the Framework list then please initially make contact by emailing louise.heaps@northyorks.gov.uk

Launch of Go ON North Yorkshire

 

The Connecting North Yorkshire team is working with colleagues within NYCC, local partner organisations, Defra and BDUK on the launch of a three year drive to both stimulate the county’s demand for broadband and encourage current users to get more out of their broadband. Called Go ON North Yorkshire, our next monthly update will include information about the project’s launch and opportunities for colleagues to get involved in helping us deliver it.

Business Benefits of Broadband

 

A special one day event promoting the business opportunities improved broadband access can bring is being held at York Racecourse on Tuesday 27 March.

Called the NextGen Roadshow, the event will feature exhibitions and presentations on topics including stimulating broadband demand and financing projects, as well as the opportunity to meet investors, expert advisors and local companies involved in making improved broadband access work for business and communities.

Registration for delegates opened on 25 January and the first 100 businesses in the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership will receive free admission. For further information visit www.nextgenevents.co.uk/events/roadshows-2012/york-and-north-yorkshire If you are interested in attending as an exhibitor please contact andrewm@nextgenevents.co.uk.

Connecting North Yorkshire is working with the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to identify and support the benefits of broadband for businesses.  The LEP are business inspired, business led and have a simple aim – to help businesses start up, grow and become more competitive. If you would like more information about the work of the LEP please contact Patrick Robertson at patrick.robertson@northyorks.gov.uk.

I hope you find this second edition helpful.  If you want to know more then please let me know.  I am, as always, grateful for positive suggestions.

Carl

One Comment leave one →
  1. desouzr permalink
    February 7, 2012 2:59 pm

    It’s good to hear that the procurement process is progressing well. However, has it slipped again from June to July?

    Can you give any assurances that once the winning bidder is announced in July we will actually see work starting then on laying fibre and upgrading exchanges/PCPs?

    With Virgin Media doubling the speed for their customers and BT Openreach about to double FTTC speeds and triple FTTP speeds the digital divide is widening all the time.

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