Final Chapter For Superfast West Yorkshire And York partnership
Superfast West Yorkshire & York, which has seen the five West Yorkshire councils, City of York Council, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, work closely with Openreach to make fibre-based broadband widely available across West Yorkshire, has announced the successful completion of the second and final phase of the partnership.
Since work began on the Superfast West Yorkshire & York programme in 2013, more than 114,000 premises have been upgraded, with the majority benefitting from access to faster, more reliable superfast broadband speeds. Furthermore, around 11,000 of the more recently connected premises are connected to a new ultrafast ‘full fibre’ network.
As part of this huge engineering build, Openreach has enabled 97 exchanges, built more than 1,200 fibre structures, erected hundreds of new telegraph poles and laid thousands of kilometres of underground fibre optic cables.
Hundreds of homes and businesses in the village of Queensbury in Bradford are the last premises to ‘go live’ under the partnership with some people living and working there now able to access ‘full fibre’ and some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe.
Over the lifetime of Superfast West Yorkshire & York more than £45 million has been invested from a combination of sources including grants from Building Digital UK (part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport), European Regional Development Fund, Local Enterprise Partnership Funding and Openreach.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Faster, reliable broadband has become as important as other utilities – not just for games and movie nights but for opening up flexible working opportunities, especially with Covid still affecting our lives.
“Thanks to the partnership between West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Openreach we’ve been able to improve broadband connections for thousands of homes and businesses in urban, semi-urban and rural areas across West Yorkshire and York. By working together we’ve been able to increase skilled employment, create jobs and training schemes and boost local economies.
“Although this phase of the programme is at an end, I remain committed to seeing Superfast West Yorkshire and York continue its work in the future, so that everyone and every business in West Yorkshire has the opportunity to connect to reliable services for work or play.”
The Superfast West Yorkshire & York partnership builds on hundreds of thousands of West Yorkshire premises being able to access superfast broadband as a result of Openreach’s own commercial roll-out programme.
The company is now building ‘full fibre’ commercially across West Yorkshire, most recently in locations such as Leeds, Bradford, Brighouse, Elland, Halifax, Hipperholme, Kirklees, Leeds and Normanton. More than 285,000 homes and businesses across West Yorkshire can already upgrade to ultrafast broadband speeds by placing an order with their chosen service provider.
Robert Thorburn, Openreach Partnership Director for the North, said: “The success of the Superfast West Yorkshire & York partnership is a great achievement and testament to the team who have worked so hard for the past eight years.
“Superfast West Yorkshire and York will continue to help communities to improve their broadband speeds working both with, and independently from, Openreach.
“Our own work sees full fibre being built to hard-to-reach parts of West Yorkshire including Cullingworth, Flockton, Kirkburton, Otley and South Elmsall and last year we announced plans for a further 325,000 premises including more than 40,000 in rural, harder to reach communities.
“Even if you already have a decent enough service it’s worth checking if you can upgrade, because full fibre is the future, and it provides the best broadband experience at great value for money. There’ll be no more worrying that your video call freezing, or your files are failing to upload when everyone’s at home competing for bandwidth at the same time.”
Full fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband
connection and around five times more reliable than the traditional copper-based network.