Some people may have heard that North Yorkshire is one of the regions that is in receipt of government support in the deployment of the faster Internet access – but there’s not been much publicity so far so I thought that I’d try update people in the village as to the current state of play…….
The Government are concerned to address the potential imbalance of opportunity in rural areas presented by poor Internet access. Faster broadband – marketed, for example, as ‘Superfast’ by Virgin and ‘Infinity’ by BT – is currently available in some areas of the UK and is being rolled out to a number of others. But this roll out is restricted to densely populated areas where the return on investment is clear. So the Government is spending over £500m to encourage internet infrastructure investment outside urban areas.
North Yorkshire was allocated just under £18m and is currently leading all the other areas being supported and just last week the 1st village – Ainderby Steeple – went ‘live’.
So what about the rest of Yorkshire, and what about Constable Burton ? The short answer is that no one yet knows.
A few weeks ago, I was informed that details of the roll out the rest of the county would – in large measure – be made known in January 2013. But it now looks like there’s been a bit of a delay. Not in planning, or even deployment – just in the announcement. This is because BT (the the contractor actually doing the work in North Yorkshire) needs to inform its wholesale customers (which means BT Retail, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Sky and [many] other [smaller] ISP’s) about launch dates well in advance of consumers – so that BT Retail in particular doesn’t have an unfair sales/marketing advantage.
What is currently clearly stated is that by the end of 2014, 90% of homes and businesses in North Yorkshire “will have access to the benefits of fibre broadband and the remaining premises in the project area will have access to at least 2Mbps”. My own expectation is that we’ll have the service rolled out here ahead of most other villages further up the valley – so I wouldn’t be surprised if our exchange is upgraded well before the end of next year.
So what speeds can we expect, and what are the potential advantages ?
While speeds of over 20mbps are possible I expect most houses in the village will achieve speeds in the 12-15mbps range – but this is just guesswork and until its delivered and tested no-one can be sure. The main potential use for all this additional speed will be in better video performance – in all its guises, so you’ll get excellent iPlayer/film on demand along with good Skype/facetime connections, even while others in the household are sending/receiving emails and surfing the net.
If you want to find out more then take a look at http://www.superfastnorthyorkshire.com/home It’s starting to get much better information and it’s where we’ll find out even more over time. You can also help by taking part in the survey at http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/broadbandsurvey which only takes a couple of minutes to complete and will help in prioritising roll out by demand.