Plans to bring super-fast broadband to North Yorkshire have received a major boost in the form of a £16.4 million government grant.
Public funding has been provided to the UK's largest county as part of a pilot scheme to test the logistics of high-speed broadband deployments in rural areas.
Last year, North Yorkshire County Council successfully bid for the right to stage one of four national broadband trials, with the others taking place in Cumbria, Herefordshire and the Highlands & Islands.
Speaking to the BBC, Councillor Carl Les said the council is determined to ensure that the businesses and people of North Yorkshire continue to thrive.
"Indeed, high-speed broadband benefits a broad demographic of people. Young people, for example, can access e-learning and a broader curriculum, often unavailable to remote, rural schools," he stated.
"It also enables technology to be used to monitor and provide care direct into individual homes, allowing people to stay independent for as long as possible".
The government is aiming to deliver 25Mb broadband to 90 per cent of the UK population by 2017.