East Riding of Yorkshire council signs £14 million deal to bring superfast broadband to 42,000 rural homes and businesses

Superfast fibre broadband delivering speeds of 24Mbps and above will be rolled out to more than 42,000 homes and businesses in the East Riding of Yorkshire within the next three years as a result of a multi-million partnership between East Riding of Yorkshire Council and BT. 

The project, “Broadband East Riding”, plans to extend high-speed fibre broadband to households and businesses across the county. As well as making high-speed fibre more widely available, the partnership will ensure everyone will be able to enjoy broadband speeds of more than 2Mbps. 

Broadband East Riding builds on the existing on-going commercial fibre deployment across the region and aims to provide a high-speed broadband network to an additional 42,734 premises in the area by December 2015. 

BT has been chosen to partner with East Riding of Yorkshire Council following an extensive and thorough procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. BT is contributing £4 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas, which together with grants from BDUK, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and contributions from East Riding of Yorkshire Council will see total investment of £14m by December 2015. 

John Skidmore, interim director of corporate strategy and commissioning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "Having access to the internet is an important aspect of modern life with many of us using it on a daily basis whether that is personally, such as keeping in contact with family and friends through social networks, or commercially and with more and more businesses requiring a secure, reliable and faster connection in order to compete and trade. 

"The council is committed to improving broadband infrastructure in the East Riding to ensure that we do all we can to support businesses, residents and visitors to the area to have access to broadband provision, especially given our largely rural locality, and hope to deliver this over the coming years through the contract with BT." 

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: "This £14m investment in the East Riding will transform broadband speeds for thousands of homes and businesses in the area. This will be instrumental in driving growth, boosting the local economy and achieving the Government’s objective of reaching 95 per cent of all UK premises by 2017." 

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access, said: “The East Riding of Yorkshire is a largely rural county and we know that small businesses form a key part of the local economy in rural areas. 

“Faster broadband breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world like online trading, which helps to empower small businesses to find new markets, sell new products, try new models and compete on an equal footing with larger businesses. 

“This project is vital to the future economic strength of the whole of East Riding. It will go beyond BT’s and other suppliers’ commercial roll-outs of fibre broadband and take faster broadband to areas which are technically and economically more challenging.” 

For local businesses, the fibre network will underpin the introduction of many new services and applications. Big business applications driven by new ‘cloud’ services will be within the reach of enterprises of all sizes. Computer back up, storage and processing will be faster, and the use of high-quality videoconferencing will become a viable possibility. 

Further benefits of faster broadband include users being able to use multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time, and send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. This will make things like gaming, watching BBC i-Player or downloading films and music much quicker and without annoying ‘buffering’ or screen freeze. 

New fibre services are set to transform the way consumers use the internet, from the simple sharing of pictures and video to enjoying the growing boom in entertainment services available online. It will also open up a host of new learning and development opportunities. 

Engineers for Openreach, BT’s local network business, will build the new fibre infrastructure. Fibre to the Cabinet will be the main technology deployed. This can deliver wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps, and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps.* Fibre to the Premises technology – delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps – will become available in certain areas and will be available on demand throughout the whole of the fibre footprint in due course should local businesses want the ultra-fast speeds it offers.** 

The new fibre network will be open to all communications providers on an equivalent basis.*** Households and businesses in East Riding will therefore benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices from a wide range of service providers. It will also boost the competitiveness of local businesses, helping them to find new customers and operate more efficiently, whilst opening up a host of new learning and development opportunities for households. 

BT through the Broadband East Riding project will announce the installation schedule in the coming months and the first communities across East Riding can look forward to improved access to online services and better connectivity for businesses from summer 2014 onwards. 


Notes to editors: 

*These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary 

** Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to decide whether they pass that on to businesses or consumers wishing to use the product 

*** Wholesale access means that BT must make its broadband infrastructure available to Internet Service Providers to market a range of competitive packages to customers. There are more than 80 service providers currently offering or using fibre services over BT’s network. 

For more information on the Broadband East Riding project please visit: