Yorkshire council clears up confusion over broadband delay
Harrogate Borough Council calls a halt to broadband plans until North Yorkshire BDUK pilot ends.
A Yorkshire council has dismissed claims it rejected a report into its rural broadband strategy because it failed to include farms under its list of local businesses.
Earlier this week,The Yorkshire Post claimed that Harrogate Borough Council had dismissed a report into the area’s multi-million pound broadband scheme because of the omission.
North Yorkshire, where Harrogate is based, has been the site of Broadband Delivery UK superfast broadband pilot since 2011.
However, in a statement sent to IT Pro, Harrogate Borough Council said the report had been delayed until the pilot project had been concluded.
“Potential private and public sector funded solutions are emerging that could deliver local broadband schemes without the need for [a grant], which makes the situation very fluid and difficult to pre-empt,” said the statement.
“With this in mind the council’s officers felt that [this report] should be delayed until after the multi-million pound North Yorkshire BDUK programme had been procured and contracted at a county level.”
This, the statement confirmed, should take place within the next month.
“[It] will give us a much clearer picture of where the remaining gaps in rural broadband provision are likely to be and ensure that funding is directed to the right places,” it explained. “The report was withdrawn for this reason.”
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire County Council said Harrogate's decision to withdraw the report had been "entirely sensible."
"The purpose of the Harrogate report was to uncover areas that the BDUK project might not reach and, to that end, find funding to close those gaps," the spokesperson told IT Pro.
"Harrogate is one of the better connected districts in North Yorkshire, so it make sense for them to take their time over this."