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Dales web designer is a graphic illustration of superfast success

Press Release   •   Dec 22, 2015 09:01 GMT

A Yorkshire Dales web designer has so much work he can pick and choose his jobs – thanks to superfast broadband.

Designer and photographer Pete Hannaby, who runs DalesWebSolutions, said having a fibre service has tripled his broadband speed – helping to slash the amount of time it takes him to publish his work on the internet by a third, increasing productivity and efficiency. “I don’t waste time now waiting for files to upload or download,”he said.

Pete, who works from his home deep in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, added: “Having superfast broadband has given me the luxury of being able to pick and choose the client jobs I take on – which means I can dedicate more time and effort to those particular projects I engage.

“For just two or three more pounds a month I’m getting triple the upload and download speeds, so signing up to superfast was a no-brainer. My line of work means you are constantly uploading and downloading very large files so being able to do that quickly is fantastic. It also means I can be more responsive to clients – I can work on designs in real-time, if a customer wants something changed I can work on it and upload almost instantly.

“My business model is more about chasing the idea and producing excellent high quality outcomes rather than just chasing the money, and superfast broadband allows me to do that.”

In addition, the boost to his bandwidth has meant Pete has been able to spend more time building and developing new website ideas and using digital and social media to promote his work more widely. “It is much easier to showcase the work I’ve done – uploading examples of web pages I’ve designed for people. It is also a lot quicker and easier to update content and keep everything looking fresh,” Pete said.

Pete, who lives on the remote Buttertubs Pass in Upper Wensleydale, added that having superfast broadband also played a big part in allowing him to live and work a rural community.

He said: “I am a thousand feet up on the side of a hill and at least 17 miles from the nearest main supermarket; we are classed as deeply rural. The nature of my work means that I can really work anywhere, as long as I have a good internet connection, so I can combine the benefits of living in what is a stunningly beautiful environment and doing a job I love.I find that a lot of people who live locally want to use someone who is local. I don’t have to travel far to meet them and they know me. Having superfast means I have all the facilities I would have working in a big office in a city right here in the Dales.

“What is great about high-speed broadband is that it is breathing new life into rural communities. People can now move into rural areas to live and work instead of having to move away. It’s ideal for businesses which want the qualities of a rural life, but need good connection speeds to the world. They can enjoy a great quality life; raise families so support local schools as well as the local shops and other businesses that are the backbone of rural communities. The whole community benefits.”

Pete is just one of more than 5,000 households and businesses across the Upper Dales now able to enjoy faster broadband, with around one in five already signing up to a fibre service.

He was one of the first to sign up to a superfast service when fibre broadband first arrived in the Dales. The task to get the fibre technology from the telephone exchange in Leyburn to Hardraw involved building the longest fibre feed or ‘spine’ of the Superfast North Yorkshire roll-out to date.

The mammoth engineering task involved clearing more than 100 blockages in underground ducts, with giant vacuums brought in 15 times to clear silt and debris washed into the ducts in an area which, being high in the Pennines, gets more than its fair share of rainfall.

The 17-mile long digital spine feeds 19 fibre enabled green roadside cabinets, connecting up 14 villages along the route; Hawes, Hardraw, Sedbusk, Bainbridge, Gunnerside, Reeth, Redmire, Leyburn, Middleham, Thoralby, Newbiggin, Wensley, Simonstone and Askrigg. A further batch of villages will be connected up to fibre, in the coming months, as part of second rollout phase of the Superfast North Yorkshire project, including Muker, Asygarth, Thornton Rust and Carperby.

Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council said, said: “Pete is a great example of how our investment in superfast broadband is bringing tangible economic and social gains to people and businesses in North Yorkshire.”

Tom Keeney, BT regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, added: “There is no doubt that superfast broadband is bringing a boost to people’s everyday lives in rural communities and it will secure their future too. They really will be part of the global village.

That’s why I would urge anyone who now has access to fibre to get online superfast.”

BT’s network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services so North Yorkshire households and businesses can benefit from a choice of superfast services from a wide range of internet service providers.

Phase one of the Superfast North Yorkshire fibre broadband deployment was completed in spring of this year and, together with the private sector’s commercial roll out of high speed broadband, ensured that over 86 per cent of homes and businesses across the county could order superfast broadband with speeds of 25Mbps or above.

Work is well underway on the next phase of the Superfast North Yorkshire project with £8 million in additional funding to make high speed broadband available to another 11,100 homes and businesses by the end of 2016.

The Superfast North Yorkshire project was the first in the UK to deploy fibre broadband using funds from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme following the signing of a £36.4m contract between North Yorkshire County Council and BT in July 2012.

The deployment of fibre broadband by the Superfast North Yorkshire project is in addition to around 200,000 North Yorkshire properties able to access fibre as a result of BT’s £2.5 billion commercial roll-out programme across the UK.

BT was chosen as the private sector partner in the project following an extensive selection process by the county council. BT is contributing £10 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas whilst the county council is using its £17.8 million share of BDUK funds and a further £8.6 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund[1] for the first phase of the project.