THE NEXT phase of a high-speed fibre broadband scheme has been announced.

The latest communities to benefit from Superfast North Yorkshire’s multi-million pound broadband roll-out will include Sleights, near Whitby, and Ripon – and residents can be expect to be upgraded by the summer.

There will also be investment in fibre broadband – making it more widely available – in York and Malton.

Timothy Kirkhope, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, said the investment would help to build confidence of an economic recovery among local households and businesses.

It will take the total number of premises with access to fibre broadband in the county to more than 160,000 with Superfast North Yorkshire already set to reach 10,000 homes and businesses not covered by BT’s commercial roll-out by the end of March.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Carl Les, chairman of Superfast North Yorkshire, said: “Investment in fibre and faster broadband speeds will be a key part of our economic revival as we finally shrug off the effects of the downturn and create a better, more prosperous future.

“Fast, sophisticated communications are the cornerstone of a successful community, helping local people to build their skills and knowledge and encouraging the creation of new businesses and jobs.

“This exciting technology will transform on-line education, training and leisure for households and enhance the competitiveness of local firms.”