North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) will spend £3.1m to bring superfast broadband to 26,000 more homes and businesses across the region.
The authority’s Executive approved the spend on Tuesday, which, combined with £5m grants from the UK government and European Regional Development Fund, will see 93 per cent of premises across the county served by speeds of 25 megabits per second or faster.
Coun Carl Les welcomed the agreement, which could see the rollout complete by the end of 2014.
Catterick Bridge Coun Les (Con) told the Harrogate Advertiser series: “I am delighted that my colleagues at the county council should put £3m into this pot to lever in some more European and government money which then takes the total extra amount to £8m.
“The superfast programme was designed to deliver superfast broadband to 90 per cent of the county’s premises.
“This extra £8m allows 93 per cent of premises to benefit from superfast broadband.”
There will remain an estimated 27,000 homes and businesses without access to the service.
Coun Les said: “The challenge is the remaining seven per cent.
“They are going to get broadband at a speed of 2mb per second.
“That is better than no broadband, but it is slow.
“We are working very hard to come up with a solution.”
And the executive member moved to defend the spend, which comes as the authority bids to save £92m by 2015, and make further savings of £77m by 2019.
He said: “Our research tells us that many people believe broadband is as important as any other part of the county council’s services.
“That includes education, roads and the like.
“We are responding to public demand and let’s be clear - if the county council wasn’t doing it with the support of the government then we wouldn’t be getting broadband at all.”
Superfast North Yorkshire was created in July 2012 following the signing of a contract between NYCC and BT.
In the week the funding was agreed, Superfast North Yorkshire announced more than half of homes and businesses across the county are now covered by fibre broadband.
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director of next generation access, said: “This is a great achievement, particularly with all the challenges that rolling out a fibre network in such rural and remotely populated county like North Yorkshire brings.”