Faster broadband speeds on the way for North Yorkshire, PM pledges

A SOLUTION is on the way for North Yorkshire s notoriously slow broadband speeds, David Cameron suggested.

A provider called Airwave which is testing new technology in the Upper Dales could cut the frustration caused by a lack of fast connections, the Prime Minister said.

There have been growing protests that large chunks of North Yorkshire will not be covered by superfast broadband by 2016, under Government plans.

Mr Cameron clashed more than once with Anne McIntosh, the former Thirsk and Malton Conservative MP over a digital divide opening up between city and countryside.

In the Commons, the issue was raised by Rishi Sunak, the new Tory MP for Richmond, who said: High-quality broadband is essential in today s digital economy.

The question came as Conservative MPs packed a separate Commons debate on slow broadband, which is fast becoming a focus for discontent on the Tory benches.

In response, Mr Cameron insisted progress was encouraging , but admitted: There is a real challenge getting to the remaining bits of the country, including the most rural areas.

We have the 8m investment fund and are piloting a number of solutions, one of which, run by Airwave, is testing new technology in the Upper Dales communities.

So he is on the cutting edge of this digital technology and, if it works, we can obviously boost it faster.

Airwave, which runs the emergency services network, is testing out a number of fixed wireless access technologies in North Yorkshire.

Earlier this year, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority s (YDNPA) planning committee s decision gave the go-ahead to four wireless broadband masts in West Witton.

The scheme is part of one of eight national pilot projects being funded by the department for culture, media and sport (DCMS) to bring superfast broadband to rural areas.

The organisation Superfast North Yorkshire has said it aims to reach 90 per cent of premises, but described the remaining ten per cent as a real challenge, but not an insurmountable one .

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