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Sleepy North Yorkshire village is first to get gov-subsidised BT fibre

90 bumpkins get speeds of up to 80Mbps

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After a long delay, the Ministry of Fun has finally signed off the first BT broadband cabinet - supported by BDUK funds - to deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbit/s to residents in a North Yorkshire village.

Broadband minister Ed Vaizey paid a visit to Ainderby Steeple today to show off the first such cabinet that some have labelled as "ghastly" and a blight on the landscape.

The big green street-side box will provide "superfast" broadband access to 90 rural homes, the department for culture, media and sport said.

National telco BT pocketed the £70m North Yorkshire contract in July this year, having outbid Japanese tech giant Fujitsu for the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds.

Apparently, people without a speedy internet connection in the sleepy North Yorkshire village might have found themselves in the dark ages when it comes to learning about Ainderby Steeple's past.

"Ainderby Steeple is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Unfortunately, until now, the people of this magnificent rural community would have struggled to find out more about their history online because of frustratingly slow download speeds," Vaizey puffed.

The minister added: "Over the coming months we will approve the procurement of more than 40 rural broadband programmes, meaning that 90 per cent of UK homes and businesses will be connected at superfast speeds and the remainder at speeds of at least 2mbps."

In November, Vaizey admitted that the government's £530m pledge to deploy a faster fibre network to rural areas by 2015 was "a challenging target".

He claimed at the time that, while the DCMS remained determined to hit its deadline - which coincides with the end of the current Parliament - waiting for state aid clearance from Brussels had been a "factor in the delay" to getting physical work properly underway.

However, a source told The Register that it was the UK government and not the European Commission that had dragged its heels over providing documents to help competition wonks assess and then eventually clear the BDUK project. ®

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