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Superfast broadband boost for the borough

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1,887 homes and businesses in Scarborough and Whitby are set to benefit from the rollout of superfast broadband, with the properties receiving superfast broadband under Phase 3 of North Yorkshire County Council’s programme identified.

The Phase 3 contract for the Superfast North Yorkshire project was awarded to BT in February and was valued at £20.5m. It was to connect more than 14,000 domestic and business premises, most by state-of-the-art fibre.

The county council and SFNY were also successful in their bid to the Rural Development Programme for England and an award of an additional £11.15m was confirmed at the end of July.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “NYCC is the leading local authority for the supply of superfast broadband and now people can see where it is coming to and start preparing.

“The RDPE award is very welcome indeed since it will give our SFNY programme a major boost in bringing superfast broadband to those communities which we have not reached yet. It is likely to raise coverage to 97% of all properties in the county. We will announce details of the additional premises as soon as we can.

“High-quality digital infrastructure is essential for business success, for so many needs of households, for education and for health and social care. We do not intend to wait for the end of Phase 3 before beginning a fourth phase of broadband expansion in order to press on towards 100% coverage, although value for money considerations will influence our decision-making in the late stages.’’

Although 93% of properties are currently covered by superfast broadband in Scarborough, it is still below the government’s target of 95%, with thousands of homes and businesses still left without superfast download speeds of more than 30Mbps, figures from independent broadband guide Think Broadband show.

Think Broadband collects user-generated data from home speed tests, which shows the median download speed in Scarborough is 19Mbps.

Households with the fastest connections enjoy a download speed of at least 35Mbps.

But households with the worst broadband can only manage a download speed of up to 7Mbps - under the minimum speed required for a decent connection.

Think Broadband editor Andrew Ferguson said: "The last few years have seen dramatic changes in the availability of superfast broadband across the UK, but for those still to see any improvements it won't feel like that at all."

Communications regulator Ofcom defines superfast broadband as a download speed of more than 30 megabytes per second (Mbps), and decent broadband as 10Mbps.

The maps on the SFNY website can be viewed at http://superfastnorthyorkshire.com