BT and West Yorkshire local authorities have signed a deal which will see superfast broadband rolled out to 97 per cent of locations by Autumn 2015.
The Superfast West Yorkshire deal will see the majority of properties connected to fibre-based broadband provided by BT.
Most locations will be connected to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) which provides speeds of up to 80Mbps while a small number will get the faster and more reliable FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) type connections, providing speeds of up to 330Mbps.
Those in the remaining 3 per cent will get a basic service of 2Mbps delivered by Autumn 2015.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to BT Broadband RolloutsThe project will see Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Wakefield Council and Calderdale Council working with BT to deliver the next generation speeds.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, chair of the Association of West Yorkshire Authorities (AWYA), said: “This is an important day for West Yorkshire as we take a vital step forward in the digital age.
“Fast and reliable internet is becoming crucial to daily life and for residents in West Yorkshire, it will provide an equal opportunity to access essential online activities such as council services, healthcare and other public services as well as offering new leisure and educational opportunities.”
The AWYA covers five West Yorkshire metropolitan local authorities – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. So far, Kirklees is not part of Superfast West Yorkshire, but a petition to get the area on board has already been launched, racking up 780 signatures.
Superfast West Yorkshire is a £21.96 million project which the local authorities are contributing £970,000 towards. BT is spending £12.58 million with the remaining £4.62 million and £3.79 million coming from the BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) and ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) grants.
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access added: “An enhanced digital infrastructure in West Yorkshire will help consolidate the area’s reputation for technology, innovation and enterprise and make this large part of the Leeds City Region a more attractive proposition for business relocations and start-ups – including the creation of new, high-tech jobs.”
Bradford and Leeds businesses will also benefit from the government’s Super Connected Cities scheme which will see local firms able to apply for money off installation of FTTP broadband. Residents and visitors will also benefit from the eventual rollout of free public WiFi provided under the same scheme as well as fast 4G mobile services provided by EE, O2 and Vodafone.