Yorkshire broadband scheme abandoned header image

Published: 15th Aug 2013

A scheme that aimed to introduce super-fast broadband throughout South Yorkshire has been abandoned for not being financially viable. 

The South Yorkshire Digital Region programme was an ambitious project that would have seen connections improved throughout the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield areas. 

However, the local councils from these regions have now revealed they will be closing the scheme down due to the expenditure that would have been involved. 

An official statement said: "The estimated cost of continuing with the project would be an estimated £95.8 million. Closure of the network would save the taxpayer an estimated £12.5 million, and potentially more, subject to negotiations with existing contractors and customers."

The scheme was originally designed to prevent the South Yorkshire region from falling behind other parts of the UK due to a lack of connectivity. 

However, the councils involved said developments in the broadband market meant it is not financially viable to keep the project up and running. 

They said their primary focus is to now obtain the best possible deal for taxpayers and ensure anyone who had been using the internet through the scheme is transferred to another provider. 

Yorkshire residents who are lacking a super-fast connection and are disappointed by the collapse of the South Yorkshire Digital Region project could benefit from satellite broadband, which provides speeds of up to 20 Mbps even in remote areas and can be ready for installation within a few weeks of placing an order. 

Another super-fast broadband scheme that is in the pipeline is the Connecting Cumbria initiative. Businesses in the country will get the chance to find out more about the project at a special breakfast meeting on September 27th, in-cumbria reports. 

John Nelmes, who is involved with the rollout of the scheme, said the event will help to make local companies aware of the benefits of better connectivity.

The project was criticised by local MP Tim Farron in June who said it "fails" the southern part of the county.

Posted by Mark Wynn