Bilbrough, Spofforth and Burton Leonard leading Yorkshire with top demand for super-fast broadband

Three villages embracing fibre with more people signing up than anywhere else in the county. 

A trio of villages are embracing the high-speed internet revolution with the strongest demand for super-fast broadband across the county.

More than 80 per cent of the 130 or so local homes and businesses in the picturesque village of Bilbrough have signed up to the high speed technology – part of the Superfast North Yorkshire project. And in both villages of Burton Leonard and Spofforth – more than half the villagers have joined the superfast digital highway.

And demand continues to grow as more and more people living and working in the communities place orders for the sophisticated technology which can see their speeds increase to up to 80Mbps.
Local businesses in Bilbrough have already found that the higher broadband speeds have changed and improved the way they work.

Julian Tegg, who runs local pub The Three Hares, has seen his broadband speed increase nearly forty-fold from about 0.8Mbps to around 30Mbps. He said: “Having fibre broadband has been the talk of the village. It’s like the first horseless carriage has arrived all over again!

“It has been great for the pub because now we can keep our website up to date with events and changes to the menu etc with the minimum of effort. Before, it would take forever to upload everything. We also use social media including Facebook and Twitter so that’s all much easier now as you can always get a fast connection. People increasingly turn to the internet first to find somewhere to go for a drink or meal. Having fibre helps to boost that online presence and helps us to compete in what is now a digital world.”

“We can also now offer wifi to customers, which is proving very popular – we get numerous requests for the password each week.”

Stewart Hymas, managing director of Alfred Hymas, a haulage business based Burton Leonard, added: “We need to track the movements of our trucks online and run detailed reports. Before this was incredibly slow but with fibre broadband it is almost instantaneous which not only makes us more efficient but enables us to give our clients real time information on our trucks’ progress.”

Martyn King, partner at Graphic Design Partnership, also based in Burton Leonard, said: “Much of our business involves sending and receiving large digital image and artwork files to and from clients and printers. Before we had fibre broadband this was a frustrating process because we were hampered by poor broadband speeds, typical of such a rural area.

“Superfast broadband now means we can transfer large files to cloud-based file-sharing sites very quickly which has improved the experience for our clients and made the business more efficient. Working in a rural location is now much easier."

Councillor Carl Les, chairman of Superfast North Yorkshire, said: “The roll out of fibre based broadband is vital to rural communities like these. Everyday the number of services delivered to us online, whether designed to entertain, educate or meet our daily needs, is growing. Content and applications will only get more sophisticated until superfast broadband will become vital for doing all your essential tasks online. But it is also vital that communities take of advantage of the technology as it arrives. Residents in the three villages have understood the benefits fibre broadband can bring them and are now experiencing those benefits for themselves.”

Superfast North Yorkshire, a partnership led by North Yorkshire County Council and BT, is behind the arrival of fibre broadband in Bilbrough and at more than 120,000 other homes and businesses across the county. The partnership builds on BT’s own commercial roll-out of fibre broadband in the county so that 90 per cent of North Yorkshire’s homes and businesses will have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2014 .

The majority of premises in North Yorkshire will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds in the country via Superfast North Yorkshire and BT’s associated commercial roll-out. The high speed service will boost the competitiveness of local firms and offer new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents. Fibre broadband gives users the ability to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time such as sending and receiving large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.

BT was chosen as the private sector partner in the project following an extensive selection process by the county council. The company is contributing £10 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas whilst the county council is using its £17.8 million share of BDUK funds and a further £8.6 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund . The project is investing an additional £8m in funding to push the deployment of fibre even further with the aim to connect an additional 11,100 homes and businesses across England’s largest rural county with high-speed broadband by 2017.

To help businesses in North Yorkshire take advantage of the faster broadband speeds a support service has been put in place to provide free services such as training workshops, skills master classes and business development events. This will demonstrate how faster broadband connections can help to develop business and increase profits by maximising efficiency and productivity. For more information call 0845 0020021 or email: enquiries@sfny.co.uk.

For further information on the Superfast North Yorkshire programme visit www.superfastnorthyorkshire.com

For photos of the SFNY deployment – go here;