Thousands of East Riding properties can now access superfast broadband with connection for more on the way

The first phase of the Broadband East Riding programme has reached its targets - meaning thousands more households and businesses across East Yorkshire can now upgrade their broadband to the best speeds possible.

The first phase of the Broadband East Riding programme has reached its targets - meaning thousands more households and businesses across East Yorkshire can now upgrade their broadband to the best speeds possible. To find out if it is available in your area and how to go superfast, visit www.broadband.eastriding.gov.uk

Superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above are now available to more than 42,000 premises as a result of the first phase of the programme, which is managed and delivered by the Council and BT. Two hundred and forty green, fibre street cabinets have ‘gone live’, connected by around 180 miles of underground fibre optic duct.

Around 28 per cent of those able to upgrade their broadband package to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband have already done so – and the number is continuing to grow. The East Riding Broadband project continues to roll-out superfast broadband, giving even more residents and businesses the opportunity to access superfast speeds from the internet service provider (ISP) of their choice.

Derek Richardson, programme director for Openreach, BT’s local network business, said “This is a significant milestone that has been achieved right on schedule thanks to the dedication of the hundreds of engineers who have worked tirelessly on this project.

“Superfast broadband opens the doors to countless business, leisure and online education opportunities in the county, boosting the rural economy and supporting thriving local communities.

“However, there is still more to do. Work is already underway on the second phase of delivery – with more than 1,000 more homes and businesses in locations such as Wetwang, North Cave and Burton Pidseaalready able to access to fibre as a result.

“The percentage of people adopting a fibre broadband service is encouraging and I would urge anybody with access to fibre to contact their service provider to arrange an upgrade. It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the Openreach network is ‘open’, there is a wide choice of fibre broadband providers offering competitive prices.”

The programme, administered locally by the Council, is largely funded by BT and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), as part of the Government’s national objective to make superfast broadband accessible to 95 per cent of homes and businesses by the end of 2017.

Once faster speeds have been made available through the programme, it is up to businesses and residents to shop around for the best deal with an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice. Broadband comparison sites such as www.broadbandchoices.co.uk can provide a list of available providers.

Superfast broadband, defined by Government as speeds of 24Mbps and above, gives people the opportunity to do a lot more online. East Riding residents are able to send and receive documents and other files much more quickly, surf the internet faster and wave goodbye to frustrating buffering when streaming the latest HD blockbuster. It also means everybody can play, chat, stream and download all at the same time, with no more arguments over the home wi-fi.

Businesses, too, can use the high-speed technology to boost their competitiveness, find new customers and work more efficiently and effectively.

Each resident and business that opts to upgrade to superfast is helping to unlock further funding to maximise coverage across the East Riding. As part of the original phase one contract betweenBT and the Council, funding received by BT can be reinvested over a number of years into further coverage if take-up reaches agreed levels. This additional funding will be released, to the Council led programme, if an additional 1,300 properties upgrade to superfast broadband. This will then be reinvested into the roll out of the programme to extend superfast broadband even further.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, deputy leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “With the support of residents and local communities in areas connected under phase one of Broadband East Riding, the Council is hopeful of securing additional funding to continue the roll out to even more properties across our rural county.

“Good internet connection and superfast speeds are vitally important to many aspects of modern life, whether that be keeping in contact with family and friends or businesses remaining competitive and providing timely services for customers.

“If you have not yet upgraded, please check your postcode at broadband.eastriding.gov.uk for availability and then shop around for the best deal with your preferred ISP, as the switch is not automatic.”

A total of 4,500 properties will have access to superfast broadband in the next 18 months as part of the second phase of the Broadband East Riding programme.

More than 1,000 homes and businesses have already been upgraded and the team are currently working on plans for the remaining 3,500 premises in phase two. Further information will be released online in the coming weeks. To find out more visit www.broadband.eastriding.gov.uk