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North Yorkshire is to benefit from an extra £21 million to boost internet access across the county.

As the largest and one of the most rural counties in the UK, North Yorkshire has presented a number of challenges to planners working on the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project, which aims to bring superfast speeds of 24Mbps to 90% of the country by 2016.

The individual Superfast North Yorkshire project has the same aims, but due to the largely rural make-up of the county, the current coverage is just 84%.

As such, further funding has been released to help boost coverage and ensure that the rollout stays on target, with an extra £21 million being spent on expanding the reach of superfast services.

As well as providing superfast broadband coverage to 90% of the UK by 2016 under phase 1 of the project, BDUK hopes to offer superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017 under phase 2.

Although Superfast North Yorkshire is hoping to hit the latter target, it seems unlikely that 95% coverage will be achieved before 2019 at the earliest.

However, Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Broadband, said the county is determined to provide every resident and businesses with high-speed connectivity eventually.

"We want North Yorkshire to be the premier place for people to live and to do business and we recognise that access to high-speed broadband is vitally important to the economic prosperity of the county," he explained.

"With this extra funding, we will be able to penetrate the more remote parts of our very rural county, to communities and businesses which hitherto had little hope of reaping the advantages and rewards of high-speed internet access."

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