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The Vision – North Yorkshire County Council

By Richard Flinton, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council

We already know that North Yorkshire is a great place to live and work. However it faces significant challenges in delivering broadband that is needed for people and businesses in the 21st century. Predominantly rural areas simply do not generate commercial returns on broadband investment and North Yorkshire accounts for 4 of the 8 most sparsely populated districts within England.

Current broadband provision equates to approximately 66% of households across the County which is below the national average. However we know that North Yorkshire people are more inclined to use broadband where available when compared to the national picture. We therefore know that there is strong demand.

The availability of high quality broadband is essential for businesses to remain competitive and, in some cases, to carry out tasks which are regarded as routine in most parts of the country. Tourism, for example, is an area where customers increasingly expect to be able to browse and book via the web and then many expect internet access when they arrive at their destination.

Similarly we know that technology plays an increasing role in maintaining contact with friends and family whilst helping people, particularly older people, to remain independent. Increasingly information and services are being accessed via the internet and we want to make sure that North Yorkshire people do not miss out on these opportunities.

Despite some of the challenges, we are well placed in North Yorkshire. We can capitalise on previous broadband investment and build upon it as one of four of the government pilots for the rollout of super-fast broadband in rural areas. That is why we are aiming to bring high quality broadband to as near to 100% of businesses and households in North Yorkshire as we can. That way they can carry out their business when and how they wish whilst living and working in North Yorkshire.

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