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Yorkshire village first to receive government-funded superfast broadband

A Yorkshire village today became the first to gain access to the benefits of a government-backed rural superfast broadband initiative.

Some 90 homes in Ainderby Steeple, North Yorkshire have been provided with broadband capable of achieving download speeds of 80Mbps.

"Ainderby Steeple is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Unfortunately, until now, the people of this magnificent rural community would have struggled to find out more about their history online because of frustratingly low download speeds," said Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, who was on hand to turn on the facility.

Superfast North Yorkshire, a partnership between North Yorkshire County Council and BT, delivered the service, having received £17.8 million from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), £10 million from BT and £8.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund in financial backing.

The government has earmarked £530 million for the installation of rural broadband, as well as another £150 million for equivalent urban rollouts, as it aims to make the UK the best-connected European country by 2015.

"Ainderby Steeple is just the beginning," added Vaizey. "Over the coming months we will approve the procurement of more than 40 rural broadband programmes, meaning that 90 per cent of UK homes and businesses will be connected at superfast speeds and the remainder at speeds of at least 2Mbps."

The rural broadband scheme gained approval from the European Commission in November.

Image Credit: Flickr (jimmyharris)