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12:00am Tuesday 19th February 2013 in The York Report
York and North Yorkshire is investing millions of pounds into its broadband network to benefit businesses.
The York Core, 103 kilometres of pure fibre-optic network, has recently launched to businesses and will enable speeds of up to 1Gbps, or 1,000Mbps. The average is currently about 7.5 megabits per second (Mbps).
The network, which was initially built for the public sector, already connects more than 110 sites including council offices, schools and data centres, and different internet service providers will be able to provide the service to customers.
The core will be extended by a further 6,247 metres by March 2013 to be within 200 metres of 80 per cent of the city’s businesses.
While York has a consistently high ranking in the competitiveness stakes, it was recently ranked just 59th out of 74 conurbations by Santander for its connectivity, measured by its broadband speed and share of slow broadband speeds.
National and local providers including CityFibre, which is building the York Core, York Data Services, Virgin and BT offer high speeds to much of the city, but more rural areas have been left behind.
The Superfast North Yorkshire project, a partnership between North Yorkshire County Council and BT, will also roll out fibre broadband to 90 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses by the end of 2014.
Part of a £50 million investment by Government, backed by European Union funding, the project will increase the average speed from 6.6Mbps to 25Mbps or more and ensure a minimum speed of 2Mbps.
The remaining 10 per cent are expected to be able to access speeds from 2Mbps to 24Mbps using alternative technologies, such as wireless, satellite and advanced copper.
The improvement in digital connectivity is expected to increase the productivity of existing businesses and attract new businesses into the region and York has set out its ambition to become the Digital Infrastructure Capital of the north.
York web-hosting company Bytemark Hosting is also investing £1.2 million in a new data centre, linked through 20 gigabits per second fibre-optic broadband to London and Manchester.