Category: Yorkshire

Reference Library – England – Yorkshire Broadband

Worcester firm wins £11m rural broadband contract 0

Worcester firm wins £11m rural broadband contract

More than £11m is to be spent to set up wireless broadband in rural parts of Shropshire with the help of a Worcester business. Connecting Shropshire has named Airband Community Internet as the delivery partner for the next phase of the county council’s superfast broadband programme. The council has said the work will take three years to complete and the new transmitters will reach 14,000 homes and businesses.

Airband will be deploying wireless broadband, which works by sending a signal from a transmitter on a mast, to a receiver attached to the property.

A cable is then run into the building allowing the end-user to access the internet in the same way as any other broadband connection.

Redmond Peel, managing director of Airband, said: “We are delighted to have won the contract to deploy our fixed wireless network in Shropshire. “Knowing how essential high-speed broadband is, we are looking forward to working with local residents and businesses to provide fast and reliable Internet connections. “Our experience of building masts to deploy wireless broadband services in the Midlands, Wales, Dartmoor and Exmoor has given us extensive insight into dealing with the geographical challenges that we will come across in Shropshire.” Nic Laurens, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, said: “I am delighted that we have secured a technology partner that can deliver superfast broadband to some of the most rural parts of the county. “When this contract is completed, we expect 98 per cent of premises in the council area to have access to superfast broadband.”

Rural communities deserve “tip top broadband” says councillor 0

Rural communities deserve “tip top broadband” says councillor

Superfast broadband – an essential service for rural communities By Betsy Everett A county councillor who says he receives as many emails about broadband as he does about potholes told a meeting this week he was “fully committed” to achieving 100 per cent superfast coverage throughout North Yorkshire. Don Mackenzie, whose brief includes highways, public transport, broadband, and mobile telephony, said that by 2020 around 95 per cent of premises in the county would have access to download speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps).  “I represent a division in Harrogate where we have a choice of suppliers with commercial companies competing. But this is one of the largest and most rural areas in the whole country.

Half the premises who now have access would never have been reached by commercial organisations. The county council has invested EU money, our own money and national money in bringing broadband to this area,” he told members of the the Upper Dales Area Partnership. The story continues after the adverts. . . .

By October this year, the end of phase two, 89 per cent would have access to superfast speeds: g ood broadband connectivity was a major factor for people considering moving to the area. “Education, commerce, medical services and personal communication are all enhanced. It’s now considered an essential utility,” he said. The county had so far spent £36 million and by the end of phase 3, in 2020, another £33 million would have been spent.

The contract was still in procurement, so he could not be more precise, but he confirmed that organisations other than BT were involved. “We don’t know where exactly it will reach, or which technology will be used, but we estimate it will cover around half the remaining 11 per cent. I personally believe that in order to establish a strong economy in the county we have to make sure that it’s not just the centre of Harrogate that gets access to tip top broadband, but every small community, and every premise.  I am committed to achieving 100 per cent access. I can assure you I get as many emails about this as I do about potholes, and that’s saying something.” Askrigg resident Peter Annison, co-owner of Hawes Ropemakers , asked if there were plans to bring the faster, fibre-to-the-premise, as opposed to the cabinet, as for many business nowadays so-called superfast broadband was not not good enough. “Domestically, people might be happy with 25Mbps but most commercial operations now are being built at a much higher speed.

If we are going to attract businesses to the area a lot will be put off by what they perceive as low broadband speeds, and the poor mobile coverage,” he said. Cllr Ian Purves from Angram, said he believed the distances in remote communities were too great and the number of premises too small, for everyone to have access, and at Angram they would probably have to consider installing their own.  He believed no proper, full analysis had been conducted, and there had been too much emphasis on cable. Satellite was “a waste of time:” microwave might be the way forward.

Cllr Mackenzie said that Angram might “potentially” be included in phase three.

Jon Trickett: £1bn ‘bung’ for Northern Ireland shows May’s priorities 0

Jon Trickett: £1bn ‘bung’ for Northern Ireland shows May’s priorities

NOW we have proof of what we have always suspected: in the eyes of the Tories, Yorkshire counts for little. Ten MPs in Northern Ireland clearly have the leverage which 53 Yorkshire MPs lack. They’ve been given £1bn in extra money for Northern Ireland.

That cash is going to schools, hospitals, broadband and other infrastructure. The reason why? It is because the Democratic Unionists will allow the Prime Minister to cling on to power.

Their ten MPs can give the Tories a wafer-thin majority so Theresa May’s failing Government can limp on. And their price? Each of them is worth £100m to the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire gets nowt. But this amounts to a fundamental breach in the way our country is meant to work. For decades, public expenditure was spent according to how needy an area was.

Now the money is being spent to preserve a single person in office. I don’t argue that Northern Ireland has no needy areas
which ought to be funded. 
After seven years of austerity, you’d be hard pushed to find somewhere that doesn’t
need a bit more from the Government. But Yorkshire equally ought to be receiving additional funding.

Our county has been held
back for too long. We have got so much potential – brilliant universities, natural resources and first-class people. And we were one of the places that helped build the wealth of the country through the Industrial Revolution.

But for the past few decades, we haven’t been given the opportunity to thrive as we should. Let me explain a symptom of this: each person working in London creates almost £44,000 in added value every year on average. In Yorkshire, we create less than half of that.

So, for the amount of wealth created by an average worker in London in a year, the average Yorkshire worker has to work two years. It’s roughly the same in Northern Ireland too. And in both Northern Ireland and Yorkshire, our average weekly wage is the same – £420.

In London it is £620. There’s clearly a gap that must be addressed. We could narrow that gap with investment.

Giving the economy a boost creates more jobs and increases wages for everyone. It reduces welfare spending because people are lifted out of poverty wages. Yet, in London, per person, more is spent on education, on healthcare and on infrastructure.

For health, 25 per cent more is spent on each Londoner than each of us in Yorkshire. There’s a similar gap for Northern Ireland’s NHS. Schooling is the same.

Don’t get me wrong: I am absolutely in favour of a cash injection into the hospitals and classrooms of Northern Ireland. It will save lives and provide children with the opportunities they deserve. This deal will provide a minimum of £250m extra for health, and a boost
of £50m to relieve pressures
on education in Northern Ireland.

But in Hemsworth, the constituency I represent, schools are considering moving to a four-day week because of cuts, NHS services are being lost and waiting lists are longer than ever. A former mining area, the jobs available to young people are zero-hours and precarious contracts, in warehouses or call centres. Those I represent haven’t seen large investment in the area in decades.

So amongst these secret back-room negotiations, where was the idea of fair funding? Where was the idea that the Government cares just as must about someone with cancer in Belfast as someone in Badsworth? May claimed there was no “magic money tree” for funding public services, but now there is as long as the Prime Minister wants it enough!

Our country has a settlement by which if more is spent in one nation, that spending is reflected in other areas. If May kept to the rules, this deal should also see £68bn allocated to the rest of the UK. So where is a deal for Yorkshire?

Where’s the deal to help struggling schools in Scotland? Or cash for more investment in Wales? Our country is meant to spend money on the basis of need.

It’s never been done perfectly, but such a blatant flouting of the rules shows just how little Theresa May cares about giving money to those who need it. This bung deal makes clear that this Government only
cares about regions outside of London when it feathers their own nest. But we can stand up to a Government that hoards power and wealth in the capital with more devolution.

A unified voice for Yorkshire means we could be heard loud and clear across Britain. We could take on a centralised establishment that cares little for regions far away from them. Until then, situations like this can continue.

Yorkshire must come together and insist that we are heard.

Jon Trickett is Labour MP for Hemsworth and Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office.