Skip to main content

Yorkshire potter is all fired up online thanks to superfast broadband

Press Release   •   Aug 12, 2015 13:18 BST

Meanwhile Government rollout of superfast broadband reaches three million premises across the UK.

Yorkshire Dales potter Dick Unsworth says superfast broadband is helping him to grow an online army of fans after videos of his pottery-making have become a YouTube hit.

Dick, who runs Ingleton Pottery, a family business making hand-fired hand thrown Stoneware with his son Dan, signed up to superfast broadband after it arrived in Ingleton in February, thanks to the Superfast North Yorkshire project.

To help promote the business, Dan hosts a series of videos showing him throwing different pots on a traditional potter’s wheel and explaining how they are made. His videos have now been watched more than eight million times and attracted thousands of dedicated subscribers.

Keen vegetable grower and competitor, Dan also regularly posts videos from his allotment – charting the progress of his prize winning veg, which generate hundreds of thousands of hits. But a slow broadband connection meant trying to post anything to the video sharing website was an uphill struggle.

Dick said: “It was actually quicker to make a pot than upload a video of you doing it. You could start uploading a video, go to the pub for a pint, come back and it would still be loading.”

Now the Ingleton Pottery is one of more than 1,000 premises in the village and neighbouring Thornton in Londsdale to have access to fibre-to-the-cabinet technology (FTTC) – fibre broadband with speeds of up to 80 Mbps. 1 This is around ten times the maximum speed previously available.

Both villages join more than 21,000 homes and businesses in Craven that now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as a direct result of the Superfast North Yorkshire roll-out.

Dick, who started making pots after losing his right hand in an accident as a teenager, said: “The faster speeds have made a huge difference. It is something that has been absolutely imperative especially for Dan. Instead of taking hours to upload things it now takes just a matter of minutes. It means he can post more videos whenever he likes, which obviously helps to promote the business.”

Dick added that being connected to fibre broadband had also enabled him to reconnect with friends and family living abroad. He said: “I have a number of close friends, people who have worked for me in the past, who are now living abroad – one in France, one in Malta and another in Gran Canaria. I’ve also got a nephew living out in Qatar. I like to keep in touch with them through Skype. With the old broadband, the picture quality was like some early black and white film – flickering and jumping about all over the place with the sound all out of sync. Now it is as smooth as silk and means we can catch up properly.”

The task to bring fibre to the area involved building one of the longest fibre feeds or ‘spines’ of the Superfast North Yorkshire roll-out to date, initially extending the network from BT’s telephone exchange in Kirkby Lonsdale to Bentham and then further still to Ingleton. More than ten miles of spine was put in place using some existing, and some newly built, underground ducts with some of the route requiring traffic management to ensure engineers safety as they worked. Openreach engineers tackled the River Lune and the A65 along the way, as well as clearing underground blockages and using giant vacuums to clear silt and debris washed into the ducts by rainwater.

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon, said: “I am delighted that Superfast North Yorkshire has delivered superfast broadband speeds to residents and businesses in Ingleton. It is another example of the North Yorkshire project ensuring that England’s most rural county keeps up with modern technology and superfast broadband speeds.”

BT’s network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services so North Yorkshire households and businesses will benefit from a choice of superfast services from a range of Internet Service Providers.

In May, Superfast North Yorkshire completed the first phase of its roll out to 150,000 homes and businesses. Close to 90 per centof the county’s 380,000 premises are now able to get high speed broadband - when the private sector’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband is also taken into account.

Work is already 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.

More than three million homes and businesses have been reached by the Government’s nationwide rollout of superfast broadband with speeds greater than 24Mbps, it was announced today.

Trevor Higgins, BT Regional Partnership Director, said: “BT’s multi billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its involvement in partnerships, such as Superfast North Yorkshire, and its own commercial programme has already made fibre broadband available to 23 million households and businesses across the UK – and the number is continuing to grow rapidly.”

The Superfast North Yorkshire project was the first in the UK to deploy fibre broadband using BDUK funds following the signing of a the original £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

For further information please contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news

Notes to Editors:

Ingleton Pottery contact details;

http://www.ingletonpottery.co.uk/

Dick Unsworth; dick.unsworth@btinternet.com

Phone: 01524 241363

Pottery YouTube channel;

https://www.youtube.com/user/youdanxxx

Dan’s Yorkshire Dales allotment diary;

www.allotment-diary.co.uk

Allotment YouTube channel;

https://www.youtube.com/user/allotmentdiary

Superfast Britain is a Government investment of £1.08bn in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio comprises three linked programmes:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
  • Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

    For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

    About Superfast North Yorkshire

    Superfast North Yorkshire was created in July 2012 following the signing of the contract between North Yorkshire County Council and BT, which will see a total fibre broadband investment in the county expected to reach around £70 million.

    North Yorkshire is the first county in the UK successfully to deploy Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds, which will be used to extend the roll-out of faster broadband across the county. The project will reach those areas outside of any commercial roll-out using a partnership approach to ensure all communities have access to the fastest possible broadband speeds.

    The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

    About ERDF

    The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf

    2The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf