As you may have seen, North Yorkshire County Council has just announced it has selected BT to roll-out high speed broadband across the County, with a promise of 90pc of premises receiving greater than 25MBs downstream and 5MBs upstream with 100pc of premises receiving between 2MBs and 25MBs, by 2015. Read the full press release here >>
This announcement is the modern day equivalent of the coming of the railways or the introduction of canals. The award of this contract marks an exciting moment in the development of high quality, high speed broadband across North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire and York Members of Parliament came together 18 months ago to support the bid for Government money to improve internet connections because, for too long, homes and businesses in this county have lagged behind more urban areas in the digital revolution.
Over the next months and years, this campaign will be working with, and pushing, North Yorkshire County Council and BT to ensure as many families and businesses as possible get connected to high speeds.
You will be able to hear more about the roll-out plans at the second Broadband North Yorkshire Conference on Saturday 29 September 2012 – further details about this will follow very soon.
With best wishes,
Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon
Julian Smith, Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon, has formally launched the new high speed broadband network for Darley, Blubberhouses and Appletreewick.
The project, part funded by North Yorkshire County Council and provided by LN Communications, will connect houses and businesses in and around Darley and then extend to Blubberhouses and Craven.
“Helping to bring high speed and high quality broadband to residents and businesses across my constituency is one of my key aims as the Member of Parliament so I am delighted to be joining the community in Darley as they formally launch their new wireless internet network.
“Having this connection will allow people to do more from their own homes – be that watching a tv show online, keeping in touch with family and friends or learning from home – and allow businesses to grow and expand by ensuring they don’t have to go to a big town or city to get a good broadband link.
“This would not have happened without the determination of the community led by Sue, David, Norman and Adrian and I pay tribute to their work, the work of North Yorkshire County Council and LN Communications in making the vision become a reality.”
The Stables at Newby Hall, housing around 16 businesses in the grounds of the historical estate in North Yorkshire, is now at full occupancy because of an investment in high speed broadband.
A 20Mbps fibre connection was brought to the Stables via NYnet Ltd, and distributed to the offices within the Stables as well as the estate office, entrance pavilion, restaurant and Newby Hall itself, with help from local business IT support company, Skipton Systems.
Eleanor Sharp at The Stables said: “When we opened up the Stables as a commercial development in 2005, the broadband speeds we received were adequate at less than 1Mbps, however with the rapid advancement of technology over the last couple of years, we were struggling to attract new occupiers for our offices with these slow speeds.
It was becoming increasingly apparent the Estate had to invest heavily in up to date technology to be able to compete with other rural business parks in the area. Now we have high speed broadband which can grow with our needs; we are able to promote The Stables with confidence as a life style choice for businesses who want it all.”
One of the Stables’ occupiers, Lauras International, has seen instant benefits for their business. The company, which depends on robust communications to be able to deliver rapid improvements within medium to large manufacturers, is now able to rely on technology including video conferencing, remote shared drive access and on-line working.
Jeremy Praud, Partner at Lauras said: “As soon as the fibre went live at the Stables, we were able to change our business model to improve our own business operations, and this has helped us communicate with clients and our other offices throughout the world”. Lauras International boasts blue chip clients such as Weetabix, Kraft, and Reckitt Benckiser and has sister offices in Melbourne, Singapore and Chicago.
Paul Crane, Business Development Director at NYnet, said: “The Stables was a challenge, we really investigated every possible solution to get connectivity to the park but fibre was really the only viable option. We are pleased the Estate and the occupiers are now utilising the new connection and it is making a difference to the Estate as a whole.”
The estate has already seen vast improvements such as the point of sales machines which now have instant access to process transactions for visitors. There are plans for making the most of the new connection to help promote events with wifi services for event organisers and the ability to offer live video streaming as part of their wedding packages.
Eleanor continues: “We are working with Telecom Yorkshire Ltd on developing the wireless offerings for events as this gives us another unique selling point. The future looks bright for the estate and we look forward to developing further as the technology progresses.”
North Yorkshire County Council have just published their March Update – you can download it here >>
The villages of Nun Monkton and Moor Monkton, just off the A59 towards York, will be able to enjoy high speed broadband in the coming weeks, thanks to the latest Community Broadband Project funded by Defra’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), with match investment from NYnet, CLANNET, and the Nun Monkton Community itself.
As the fifth project of its kind under the funding, the Nun Monkton project began in earnest over a year ago when the community, and an interested local business, got together to drive forward the initiative and gather the support of the residents of Nun Monkton.
For this network to be sustainable it needed the buy in from not only the residents but the businesses in the village as well. The village is small in terms of numbers of subscribers needed to make such a network sustainable, fortunately three local business interests, Green-tech, Richard and Kate Harpin and Nun Monkton Estate, have stepped forward to support the business plan. It was also crucial for neighbouring Moor Monkton to get involved to increase the viability of the scheme.
Green-tech, one of the largest local employers for Nun Monkton, supplies the landscaping, grounds maintenance, forestry and agriculture markets with innovative products that protect, enhance and improve plants and their environment. Kate Humes, Marketing Manager for Green-tech said “The local internet upgrade is paramount to Green-tech’s business development and future ecommerce strategy. We are proud to be part of a local initiative that will not only benefit Green-tech and its employees but Nun Monkton village as a whole.’
Mike Turnham, Community Broadband Champion for Nun Monkton said “we have a real mix of residents here in the village from retired people to young families, each needing access to the internet for different services. We have people who want to work from home or access applications like BBC iPlayer, and for others they want to be able to order their prescriptions or groceries online. The whole village is very excited about the new network and people can’t wait to get connected.”
The installations begin this week starting with the village and local businesses of 47 subscribers and then the network will be extended out to the neighbouring village of Moor Monkton where 25 subscribers have already signed up for the new connection. The network should be complete by the Spring.
Nick hall, Managing Director of CLANNET, the service provider of the network said “I was very impressed with the commitment and involvement of the community, which made us more determined to make this network happen. Equally Green-tech was just as determined and committed as they could see the benefit to their employees, many of whom live in the local community. Another benefit of the project is that we are training a local tradesman, Jack Stout, to become a fully qualified installer thus providing employment and a resource for the community.”
The Nun Monkton Foundation Primary School is also very excited about the project. As the host of the hub for the network the project could not have gone ahead without their cooperation. The school understood the potential benefits to the local community and to their own pupils who may access the network to utilise the school’s Virtual Learning Environment.
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.
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’
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.