Yorkshire broadband upgrade to level up 195,000 rural homes and businesses

Rural homes and businesses in Yorkshire will get next-generation gigabit broadband built to them under a £5bn plan to level up internet access across the UK.

New details published today from Project Gigabit, a Government scheme to upgrade broadband infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas, reveal that up to 195,000 rural homes and businesses in the region are in line to be connected to lightning-fast speeds.

This is in addition to commercial providers’ roll out which is seeing gigabit broadband being deployed rapidly across the country – from one in ten households in the UK in 2019 to more than two in five today.

The Project Gigabit programme targets properties that would otherwise have been left behind in broadband companies’ rollout plans, prioritising those that currently have the slowest connections.

Their available speeds will rocket to more than 1,000 megabits or one gigabit per second – enough to download a HD movie in less than 30 seconds and lay the foundations for tomorrow’s tech such as 8K-quality video streaming.

Up to 62,000 premises in South Yorkshire will benefit at a cost of £61m to £103m, and up to 133,000 premises in West Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire will get connected through a £128m to £218m investment.

Work to connect these areas will start in October 2023.

More areas in Yorkshire are also planned, and further details will be announced in due course.

Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman said: “Thousands of rural communities across Yorkshire will get access to lightning-fast gigabit broadband through this targeted funding which will mean people across the county have the freedom to live and work flexibly and seize the benefits of modern technology.

“Our £5bn national plan will draw in commercial providers to improve the quality and speed of connections and is at the heart of our national mission to level up the regions and build back better.”

Project Gigabit will incentivise network providers to build in areas deemed ‘commercially unviable’.

Areas with the largest proportion of premises identified as hard-to-reach or connected to slow speeds will be first in line for support.

Matt Gladstone, executive director for place at Barnsley Council and chair of SFSY Board, said: “This is fantastic news for the South Yorkshire region.

“The availability of gigabit broadband is vital. It is a huge investment improving connectivity for residents and making South Yorkshire an even more attractive place to live and do business, bringing new investment to the region.”