Having spent many days in various parts of Yorkshire, including holidays in some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the county, I was interested to read Silicon.com’s report, Yorkshire hits 100 per cent broadband.
This doesn’t, of course, mean that everyone is using broadband – Yorkshire still has one of the lowest take-up rates in the country – but it is a sign that geographic location can increasingly not be used as an excuse for not having fast internet access.
Once it was assumed you had to be located in a major city to have broadband (London was one of the first into "the illustrious 100 per cent club"), and I think it is fair to say that telecoms providers will always focus their initial efforts on improving services in major conurbations. For instance, another Silicon.com item, UK cities to get blanket wi-fi coverage, details how, by March this year, citywide wi-fi hotspots will be rolled out in eight of the UK’s biggest cities and three London boroughs (Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford, plus Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, and Islington).
The networks are being built by European wireless provider the Cloud, with coverage provided through wi-fi equipment fitted on lampposts (see also this BBC story) and street signs. It won’t be free, unfortunately – users will pay a participating ISP for access (revenues will be split between the Cloud, the local council and the ISP). More cities are expected to be announced later in the year; George Polk, CEO of the Cloud, said the aim is to provide wireless coverage across all the UK’s cities and major centres of population.
I think this means that the 4,000 households and around 800 businesses in Ramsgill Dale in North Yorkshire may still have a long time to wait for wi-fi access.