My campaign to connect residents and businesses in the remotest parts of the constituency to superfast broadband has been successful.
I welcome a Government initiative which will pay for a high speed connection for those homes and businesses out of reach of the existing broadband network.
From Monday, February 15, people in North Yorkshire without a fast broadband connection will be able to apply for a voucher worth up to £450 to meet the cost of installing satellite broadband equipment.
Fast broadband is a modern-day essential service, for families and businesses. This is great news for those who have been struggling with a very poor or non-existent connection.
Households and businesses with speeds of 2mbs or less – typically in the most remote areas – will be eligible for the scheme.
I called for the scheme to be introduced last year, speaking in a House of Commons debate on broadband and also writing to Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey about the pressing need for better broadband for his constituents in remoter parts of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors.
Superfast broadband is being rolled out across the county and by 2017 95 per cent of properties will have access to the superfast network. The satellite voucher scheme will offer an interim solution to the remaining five per cent of homes and business which at the moment cannot access it.
They will able to apply for the voucher online at the Superfast North Yorkshire website – http://www.superfastnorthyorkshire.com. Provided they meet the eligibilty criteria of not having a broadband connection with download speeds of 2mbs or more, they will be issued with a code which will enable them to order the satellite equipment from an approved retailer.
The voucher covers the cost of the equipment only. Users will have to pay a monthly subscription cost of up to £25 to the satellite service provider.
In North Yorkshire the scheme will be administered by Superfast North Yorkshire, North Yorkshire County Council’s broadband partner organisation. North Yorkshire County Council will meet the cost of the vouchers.