Broadband Volunteers at Mealbank next to a B4RN cabinet

E1 – Broadband

E1.    Connect Grassington, Hawes, Reeth and Sedbergh to fibre-to-the-premises broadband by 2024, and secure at least the Universal Service Obligation (10 mbps) for the rest of the National Park.

Rationale: Businesses in the National Park are physically remote from their markets but high-quality broadband can overcome a lot of the barriers, and open up opportunities for new, high-tech businesses and home-working .  Broadband for the Rural North has demonstrated that this is realistic and achievable in rural areas, without the need for a proliferation of masts.  The Government announced in December 2017 that consumers will have a right to request a connection.  A universal service provider will be obliged to build all reasonable requests up to a cost threshold (£3,400 proposed).

Lead partner:  North Yorkshire County Council; Cumbria County Council; Lancashire County Council;

Supporting partnersBroadband for the Rural North; Craven District Council; Eden District Council; Richmondshire District Council; South Lakeland District CouncilYorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Parish Councils

Further information: Broadband for the Rural NorthSuperfast North Yorkshire;  Connecting CumbriaSuperfast Lancashire

Cost over 5 years:         n/a

Funding shortfall:         n/a

Related objectives:       A1; A9; D6; E2; E3; E8 E9; F4; F5; F6

Ecosystem services:  None

Trade-offs:    The rollout of improved broadband connections will create the need to replace or upgrade existing infrastructure, either by installing cabinets fed by fibre connections, or taking the fibre direct to the premises by overhead cables or underground ducting.  These improvements are classed as ‘permitted development’ so are not scrutinised through the planning system, but are generally unobtrusive so are unlikely to result in significant impacts on visual amenity.  Where underground ducting is the predominant method of delivering fibre connections the impact from ground disturbance (for example on archaeology and wildlife) needs considering, especially for the ‘soft dig’ deployment models, however mole ploughing and blowing the fibre through ducting normally limits impacts.

Baseline: None of the 4 service centres had Fibre-to-the-premises (March 2019).

Progress: Fibre-to-the-premises broadband currently being installed in Sedbergh (2019).