North Yorkshire Village Is First To Benefit From BDUK

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Communications Minister Ed Vaizey switches on BDUK-funded superfast broadband in Ainderby Steeple

A village in North Yorkshire has become the first settlement in the UK to benefit from superfast broadband funded by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey switched on the street cabinet that will provide Ainderby Steeple with broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps. Vaizey said that 40 more broadband schemes would be approved in the coming months, evidence of the government’s commitment to having the best broadband in Europe by 2015.

BDUK funding rural broadband

broadband network fibreThe government has pumped £530 million into BDUK to pay for the deployment of superfast broadband in areas that would not otherwise be covered by BT’s own £2.5 billion Infinity fibre deployment, which is going to cover 66 percent of the UK.

Yorkshire was allocated £17.8 million by BDUK, with another £10 million coming from BT and £8.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund.

The scheme has attracted criticism as BT has so far won all of the funding up for grabs. This prompted a European investigation to determine whether or not it amounted to state aid to BT, but Brussels gave its blessing to BDUK last month.

BT has been forced to deny reports it was overcharging the British taxpayer by inflating the costs associated with deploying superfast broadband to rural areas under the BDUK scheme by as much as 80 percent. A leaked document suggested that if the telecoms giant’s subsidy was cut by between £400 and £500 million, there would be no effect on BT’s plans. BT labelled the accusations “ludicrous.”

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