GoOn Launched in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire County Council is embracing the national Go ON campaign to encourage people who have never used the internet to get online. Nationally, Go ON aims to help nearly nine million people who have never accessed the internet to take their first steps online and reap the benefits it can provide.
Go ON North Yorkshire will form part of the Connecting North Yorkshire campaign to develop next generation broadband for some of the county’s smaller and more remote communities that can access little or no broadband connection at the moment.
Connecting North Yorkshire is a multi-million pound pioneering programme led by the county council, working with partners including NYnet, its broadband company. This approach is a national first and is supported by Broadband Delivery UK and Defra, who are using the experience to develop a model approach to raising awareness and demand for broadband.
The Go ON campaign will focus on the benefits that a high-quality rural broadband network can bring. These include: •helping to combat rural isolation; •helping more people to work effectively from home; •helping older people to live independently for longer; and •improving the prospects of young people through skills and employment opportunities.
During the Go ON campaign, the council will work with partners to promote the demand for high-quality broadband.
The campaign is essential for raising the level of demand for superfast broadband in the county, which will stimulate private sector investment and help the Government’s funding go further.
The aim is to involve everyone in the community. People volunteering to help others to get online is a key element in building effective local broadband demand and can show people who have never used the internet before how much the web has to offer. Online support to help them do so is available here.
Go ON North Yorkshire will also recruit business digital champions to reach small and medium enterprises.
The campaign was being formally launched today with a visit by Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to Oakwood Business Park in Harrogate.
The minister met Cllr John Weighell, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, and Barry Dodd, chairman of the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), before talking to other guests and touring the business park.
Oakwood Business Park became one of Connecting North Yorkshire’s “smart parks” – business centres for small to medium enterprises equipped with super-fast broadband – last year when a 10 mbps fibre connection was installed to service its tenants. Capacity exists to provide 100 mpbs for future tenants as the park expands, as well as providing a wireless connection for businesses in the Bishop Thornton area.”
North Yorkshire has 33,000 small to medium enterprises, making up most of the county’s business sector. The county council, along with business leaders, is determined to enable companies to thrive in rural areas as easily as in neighbouring cities, but with better networks, support and a better environment.
For this reason, the LEP has made a Rural Network Bid to Defra to establish a network of enterprise hubs developed by local business communities that will lead to hundreds of new jobs and enterprises by 2015.