Former Conservative Leader Gives Support to ‘Revolutionary Broadband Infrastructure'

In a rather unusual step, the former leader of the Conservative Party William Hague MP has given a public statement of support to Yorkshire’s NYnet project which he says is transforming the county and will hugely benefit the region both economically and socially.

The MP for Richmond has been following the progress of the revolutionary broadband infrastructure and its potential impact on his local constituency with much interest.

Following a meeting in June with NYnet, Mr Hague promised to publicly support the project as well as urge the Government and Ofcom to assist similar schemes around the country.

NYnet, which was formed in collaboration between Yorkshire Forward and North Yorkshire County Council with funding from the European Union, is tasked to provide an ultra-high-speed internet network to ensure North Yorkshire is not ‘left behind’ the rest of the world in the next phase of the internet revolution.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary and MP for Richmond said:

“In today’s society the internet has become indispensible, especially in business. Before the creation of NYnet, internet service providers deemed it too expensive to provide next generation Internet services in North Yorkshire.

However, NYnet has established a new, high-quality telecommunications network previously unavailable in the region. It aims to assist in the provision of affordable high-speed next generation Internet access to homes and businesses which will benefit the region both economically and socially.”

“I have no hesitation in offering my support for, the NYnet project, and the transformation it is bringing to the county’s economy. I also hope that the Government and Ofcom will make every effort to ensure that NYnet and similar schemes around the country are encouraged to help all rural areas receive access to broadband connections.”

NYnet, which provides the fastest public sector telecoms network in Europe, is tasked with stimulating the sub-region’s economic growth by providing a faster, better and cheaper broadband infrastructure, to enable public organisations to deliver more advanced services to the citizens of North Yorkshire. Offering broadband at highly competitive rates, the NYnet offering is integral to the sub-region’s development plans.

Andy Lister, NYnet Sales & Marketing Director, said:

“It is excellent that one of the UK's leading political figures sees the value of this project and we thank William Hague for his valuable support.”

“We have been receiving international interest in the project resulting in an invite from the European Union to participate in the €3.5m ‘B3 – Regions for Better BroadBand connection’ initiative to utilise the findings from Yorkshire to help improve internet access across Europe. We are extremely pleased with the progress in the development of NYnet and I am confident this will continue into 2009 and beyond.”

Internet and broadband access has been identified as a key factor in attracting businesses to relocate to North Yorkshire, an area that historically has been seen as a broadband desert.

According to Yorkshire Forward statistics, 95 per cent of businesses in North Yorkshire have access to the internet, however only 84 per cent of these have a broadband connection. The NYnet infrastructure and high-speed offering will directly impact on this with shared services and community projects high on the change–agenda.