South Yorkshire Digital Region closure approaches header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

A potential date for the closure of the failed South Yorkshire Digital Region project has been announced. 

Internet service provider (ISP) Chess Telecom has released a statement saying the network will be shut down on May 15th this year. 

The South Yorkshire Digital Region scheme was established as a means of bringing super-fast broadband to areas such as Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster and was funded with more than £100 million in taxpayers' money. 

However, the project was formally abandoned in August, with the Yorkshire Post reporting it attracted only 3,000 paying customers, despite needing at least 108,000 just to break even.

The Chess Telecom statement said: "As you will no doubt be aware, following the announcement made on 15th August 2013 the decision has been made to close the Digital Region Network (DLR). The closure date is set as 15th May 2014 and the DRL will continue to provide your services for a period of three months following the termination date."

Those people who had been using the network will now need to be transferred to an alternative platform. 

Last month, the government told the Yorkshire Post it was considering implementing a new £10 million project to bring super-fast broadband to 90 per cent of the South Yorkshire region. However, the four local councils in the region have failed to comment on this proposal other than to say they are aware of it. 

People living in South Yorkshire may be left somewhat confused by the broadband developments going on in the area and unsure of whether they stand to receive a better service or not.

Such individuals could benefit from switching to satellite broadband as this technology can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps and is available now.

Broadband problems are not unique to South Yorkshire, as the subject of improving connections in the north of the county was discussed in parliament in January.