AN Esk Valley village will be the first in the area to benefit from the next phase of a high speed fibre optic broadband scheme.
Superfast North Yorkshire’s multi-million broadband expansion is coming to Sleights with residents being upgraded in the summer.
Superfast North Yorkshire is the name given to the project bringing the new generation of broadband which is much faster, more reliable and uses a different technology.
While traditional broadband (known as ADSL) is delivered via copper telephone lines, fibre broadband incorporates fibre optic cable in the link between the customer and the exchange.
The project is being done in partnership with BT and also brings together other, earlier initiatives by NYnet and NYCC to address rural hot spots.
It is being aided by significant funding from the Government and European funding along with investment from BT.
By the end of 2014, 90% of homes and businesses will have access to the benefits of fibre broadband and the remaining premises in the project area will have access to at least 2Mbps.
Esk Valley borough councillor Tim Lawn welcomed the news.
He said: “I’m very pleased about it. It’s great for rural businesses to help things move forward and be sustainable.
“I’m aware the Government has relaxed some of the planning requirements for infrastructure for the next three years which should help to move it forward.”
Local MEP Timothy Kirkhope said the investment will help to build confidence of an economic recovery among residents and businesses.
It will take the total number of premises with access to fibre-optic broadband in the county to more than 160,000 with Superfast North Yorkshire reaching 10,000 homes and businesses not covered by BT.
Carl Les, chairman of Superfast North Yorkshire, said: “Investment in fibre and faster broadband speeds will be a key part of our economic revival as we shrug off the effects of the downturn and create a better, more prosperous future.
“Fast, sophisticated communications are the cornerstone of a successful community, helping local people to build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs.”
Typical prices for fibre optic broadbandstart from around £16.50 for home users and £30 for businesses.
For more information visit www.superfastnorthyorkshire.com