Julian Smith, Member of Parliament for Skipton and Ripon, has told delegates at the second Broadband North Yorkshire Conference that a new chapter is beginning for broadband in the County.
The MP was joined by Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones in hosting the Conference (on Saturday 29 September), organised as part of the campaign backed by every Member of Parliament in North Yorkshire. It was held at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Visitor Centre near Ripon.
BT and North Yorkshire County Council were invited to give more details about their plans for the broadband roll-out and launched the ‘Superfast North Yorkshire’ project which will deliver at least 2Mbps to every property and at least 25Mbps.
Andrew Jones MP, who chaired the question and answer session on the new service said:
This Conference was a great opportunity for residents and businesses to hear direct from BT and North Yorkshire County Council about their plans. There were a lot of detailed questions about exactly when and where the new scheme would rollout.
At my recent presentation to Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce many of the businesses present highlighted that high speed broadband was now a key part of the infrastructure required for a modern business to run effectively. This new chapter in our region’s broadband journey will bring many businesses and residents into the digital fast-lane where previously the speeds they have been getting have lagged behind many other areas.
- 35 jobs and 10 apprenticeships will be created as part of the project
- 500 planners, 1000 install engineers and 500 civil engineers will be used during the project
The Conference was split into sessions for businesses and communities.
Communities heard about the achievements so far and the work that will be done in the coming months. They also heard from the Chief Executive of UK Online Centres, Helen Milner, who spoke about the benefits of having good connectivity.
Businesses had the chance to discuss the opportunities that having better broadband would bring from speakers including Barry Dodd, Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership and representatives from UKTI and Google. Google also announced they were giving three free online training courses to North Yorkshire businesses to explore the way they could benefit from having good quality broadband.
Julian Smith said:
North Yorkshire is the first pilot area to start the roll-out of superfast broadband and this Conference was an opportunity for residents and businesses to question BT and North Yorkshire County Council about their plans.
Having secured millions of pounds of public money to boost our economy and give residents the same opportunities as those in major towns and cities from being better connected, Members of Parliament will now be watching BT and the County Council to ensure they deliver on their promises.
The next few years promise to be exciting times in North Yorkshire when the digital divide between urban and rural communities is narrowed bringing more companies, jobs and opportunities to our cities, towns and villages.
Photograph by Stuart Castle.