A Wharfedale village is set to get superfast broadband access for the first time while speedier internet access will be made more widely available in Otley and Ilkley.
The Superfast West Yorkshire scheme announced this week that work has begun on the first phase of its expansion of high-speed fibre broadband service, hoped to help create jobs and boost connectivity for home users in the region.
Thousands of homes and businesses in 14 exchange areas are included in the first phase of Superfast West Yorkshire’s multi-million pound programme. The high-speed technology will be coming to Arthington and four other West Yorkshire communities for the first time.
And the scheme – a project formed by the local authority partners of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield councils – has also promised “substantial investment” to make fibreoptic broadband more widely available in Ilkley, Otley and several other towns.
Engineering work to lay the new network in these areas has begun with local homes and businesses expected to be able to order fibre broadband services by the end of June.
Chairman of the Superfast West Yorkshire project board, Ian Gray, said: “Our research suggests there are a significant number of homes and businesses experiencing broadband speeds that are lower than expected across West Yorkshire “This project will improve coverage, particularly across rural areas, bringing superfast broadband to many places which would not otherwise have access.
“There are many benefits for businesses and residents from video conferencing, social networking and catch-up TV to internet shopping and banking. This project will boost economic growth and bring social benefits across our rural communities.”
Residents and businesses across West Yorkshire who want to keep up to date with progress of the roll-out are encouraged to register their interest.
Superfast West Yorkshire says it plans to extend high-speed fibre broadband to 97 per cent of households and businesses across the majority of West Yorkshire by the end of 2015.
As well as providing high-speed fibre, the partnership aims to ensure all premises in this area have access to speeds of more than 2Mbps.
Grants are being made available to eligible businesses across West Yorkshire, both to support the improved connectivity and to assist in exploiting the opportunities it will bring.
The scheme builds on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll-out fibre broadband to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of Spring 2014.