Frequently Asked Questions
What is Superfast West Yorkshire & York?
Superfast West Yorkshire & York is the brand name for the West Yorkshire Local Broadband Project.
When we refer to Superfast West Yorkshire we mean: enabling basic broadband (ie 2 Megabits per second plus (2Mbps+) as a minimum, right across the West Yorkshire defined area; and significant levels of speed uplift to provide superfast broadband (24Mbps+) for as much of West Yorkshire and York as possible.
What is Superfast Broadband?
Superfast Broadband is defined as data download speeds in excess of 24 megabits per second.
Basic broadband is broadband which delivers access line speeds of at least 2 Mbps (Megabit per second - used to measure data transfer speeds of high bandwidth connections).
Broadband refers to telecommunication in which a wide range of frequencies is available to transmit information. This means that more information can be sent or received in a given amount of time (much as more lanes on a road allows more cars to travel on it at the same time.
Bandwidth refers to how much data you can send through a network or modem connection and it’s usually measured in bits per second.
What is the West Yorkshire Local Broadband Project?
It is a project that aims to help improve broadband coverage across West Yorkshire and York – focusing on those areas which have either no or poor coverage. Many rural and remote areas have poor broadband because they were not deemed commercially viable by telecoms infrastructure providers.
Who is involved in the project?
Phase 2 of the project is funded and supported by the 2014 to 2020 European Regional Development Fund Programme and BDUK, part of the Department for Media Culture and Sport and the five West Yorkshire Local Authorities and the City of York Council. For background information on the project, click here
The project is also supported by the Leeds City Region and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
How much is the project worth?
Phase 1 of the Superfast West Yorkshire Project was worth approximately £23.94 million - capital and revenue.
Phase 2 of the project is worth £13 million.
Who is funding the project?
Phase one of the Superfast West Yorkshire project was jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, BT, and West Yorkshire’s five Local Authorities – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield Councils.
Phase two of the project, worth £13 million, includes £6.89 million from the Government’s Superfast Extension Plan and £6.1 million from BT. Additional investment will also be made by West Yorkshire Combined Authority and local authority partners to support the delivery and resource for the day-to-day running of the project.
When will the project start and end?
Phase one of the project commenced in September of 2013 and was completed in July 2015.
The new technology has been made available to more than 64,000 homes and businesses since the rollout began.
Phase two of the project was signed in July 2015, and extends the reach of the project into Kirklees and York, and will be completed in 2018. Around 33,000 homes and businesses will benefit from this second stage of the project.
To keep up to date with progress on the project follow us @SuperfastWY or on facebook.com/superfastWY
How will it benefit West Yorkshire?
The project will help boost the local economy by improving the way that people access the internet and online services and how businesses operate – improving their efficiency, competitiveness and e-marketing.
What benefits will I see as a householder from better broadband?
Better broadband will provide many benefits for West Yorkshire householders. Examples include having improved access to online shopping, banking and public services, online entertainment and being able to stay in touch with family and friends. Children will be able to do their homework and learn independently online and adults will have improved opportunities for life-long learning.
Some people find that they can work from home just as effectively as from the office – you could save time and money and reduce the impact of your car on the environment. You could also consider setting up your own business and running it from your home.
To register your interest in superfast broadband or to find out more provide us with your email address and a few details.
What benefits will I see as a business from better broadband?
Better and faster broadband will provide new opportunities for businesses in West Yorkshire by enabling them to innovate and expand into different markets. It also has the potential to increase efficiency and drive down costs – see our business section about some of the applications and benefits of better broadband.
What broadband speeds can I expect to be able to receive if I live in an area that will benefit from the Superfast West Yorkshire programme?
Fibre to the cabinet, the main technology being deployed in this project, delivers speeds of up to 80Mbps. However, the final speed attained at a home or business will depend on a number of factors such as the distance from the exchange or street cabinet, geography, and the wiring within the premises.
Remember, we intend to make sure every premise in the West Yorkshire defined area can receive a basic broadband service (2Mbps) as a minimum as a result of the Superfast West Yorkshire programme.
Will all areas be covered by the project?
Phase 2 of the project will include the whole of West Yorkshire, including Kirklees and also the City of York - aiming for >98% coverage of premises by the end of 2018.
However, the project must adhere to State Aid rules, which state that public money cannot be used in areas where private companies like B.T or Virgin are planning to invest in the next 3 years.
Is there a chance that despite the roll out of better broadband I still may not get access to it?
Some locations are so geographically remote that high-speed fibre broadband will not be achievable for cost or technical reasons. This is why achieving basic broadband (2 Megabits per second+) as a minimum across West Yorkshire is important.
Why is the area highlighted in brown (in the map above) not covered in the Superfast West Yorkshire programme?
In phase 1 Kirklees was not part of the contract with BT but were in discussions with them on other ways of using BDUK and other government funding as well as alternative approaches to rollout Superfast broadband in their area. This was the reason why Kirklees was not highlighted on the map. However, they were part of the overall phase 1 Superfast West Yorkshire project to stimulate demand for better broadband and provide business support to help firms exploit Superfast broadband.
The area in the middle of the map was not included in phase 1 as it is part of the Super Connected Cities project and due to State Aid rules, the city centres of Leeds and Bradford could not be included in the Superfast West Yorkshire programme.
What about the 3% of West Yorkshire that is not covered by this project or BT’s roll out plans? Are any steps being taken to address this?
The project will provide 100% of premises in the defined area with >2mb broadband.
This project is just for rural areas; will this not broaden the urban/rural, rich/poor divide?
The project covers all areas of West Yorkshire except for Leeds and Bradford inner city areas and a connecting corridor (As this is covered through the Super Connected Cities project) and Kirklees. Within the area of the project scope there are a significant number of deprived boroughs and urbanised areas.
Why is Kirklees not involved in the whole project?
Kirklees is now included within the second phase of the Superfast West Yorkshire & York fibre broadband rollout.
Updates on how the infrastructure delivery is progressing will be made available on this website and also via Twitter @SuperfastWY and Facebook.com/SuperfastWY.
Kirklees Council originally contributed funds to the business support element of the phase one project, but were not involved in the partnership with BT to deliver Superfast broadband across the region.
When are we likely to see the real impact of this project on West Yorkshire?
Phase one of the Superfast West Yorkshire project has already been completed, with superfast fibre broadband being delivered to over 64500 homes and businesses across the area.
Phase two of the project, which extends the reach of the project to Kirklees and York has already been signed. Currently this stage is in the planning stages, with detailed survey work due to commence soon, with a project aim of >98% coverage of West Yorkshire and York by 2018.
Is there really a demand for this project?
The Superfast West Yorkshire and York website has received over 8000 registrations of interest from businesses and residents, demonstrating a real demand for fibre broadband in the region.
How do we know who will be getting superfast broadband and more importantly, when?
We will be using both electronic media (e-newsletters) and traditional methods (leaflets) to alert you to contact your ISP to order the service. Also you can look out for a Superfast West Yorkshire sticker appearing on a cabinet near you.
To register your interest and keep up to date with the latest news in your area please supply us with your email address and a few other details.
How many premises are likely to benefit from this project?
Phase 1 of the Superfast West Yorkshire project was to deliver access to fibre broadband to 97% of premises across West Yorkshire by the end of Autumn 2015 (excluding Kirklees and Leeds & Bradford inner city areas). This has been successfully completed with over 64,500 homes and businesses now having access to Superfast fibre broadband.
An extension to the phase 1 project has been signed and agreed, phase 2 will build on the success of the work completed in the earlier project; taking Superfast broadband to a further 33,413 premises across West Yorkshire, including Kirklees and parts of York.
Superfast West Yorkshire and York project aims to improve both access and take-up of superfast broadband across West Yorkshire and York – aiming for >98% coverage of premises by the end of 2018.
Will I have to use the better broadband service or will I be able to stick with my existing broadband service?
Superfast West Yorkshire and York aims to improve both access and take-up of superfast broadband across West Yorkshire and York – aiming for >98% coverage of premises by the end of 2018.
New technology is being installed across the region as part of this project and will be made available to various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to offer a variety of broadband packages to customers.
It is up to the household or business whether they choose to upgrade to a faster broadband package, either from your current supplier or through looking at other deals from various broadband suppliers. There is more information about this on our Get Fibre page.
Will I need to buy new or extra equipment to receive the better broadband service?
Possibly. Your Internet Service Provider will tell you what equipment you need to receive the better broadband service (and may offer to provide it for you).
Will I get better broadband automatically?
No, once your cabinet has been upgraded your broadband service does not automatically switch to fibre optic broadband – you need to place an order with your internet service supplier, or take a look at other deals available with other broadband suppliers. Take a look at our 'Get Fibre' page for more information.
This one minute video gives you a quick guide to the process of signing up for Superfast broadband:
How to sign up for Superfast fibre optic broadband
When will I get better broadband? Will everyone get better broadband at the same time?
Superfast West Yorkshire has now completed the first phase of its rollout to bring fibre broadband to 97 per cent of West Yorkshire.
The new technology is now available to more than 64,000 homes and businesses across the intervention area.
A Phase 2 of the project has been signed and is currently being planned, with a further 28,000 homes and businesses set to benefit from further investment in faster broadband speeds up until 2018.
Why can’t you tell me now if I am going to get fibre broadband?
You can find out if your property was included in the first phase of our superfast broadband rollout here. Phase one is now complete and has allowed over 64,500 homes and businesses access to faster broadband.
We are working closely with our partners and taking into account many factors including geography, planning requirements and the location of the existing telecoms infrastructure for the second phase of the rollout. We will be updating the website as soon as we have more information.
Engineering plans and delivery timescales do also depend on factors such as planning applications, the provision of electricity to the new roadside cabinets and even the weather.
We fully understand the huge importance of fibre broadband and we will provide regular updates on our website as the project progresses..
Is it possible to speed up delivery of better broadband to my area of West Yorkshire?
The programme has not identified specific locations for upgrade as this would have placed technical constraints on the supplier and lead to less coverage and speed uplift. BT has applied the same principles as it uses for its commercial roll-out and will seek to achieve the most technically efficient rollout it can for the Superfast West Yorkshire and York programme, which will deliver best value for money.
Is taxpayer’s money being spent on this project?
Public funding is being provided to the project by a central government grant, European Regional Development Fund and contributions from the local authorities. However, more than 50% of the funding is being provided by BT.
Why has BT been appointed to this project?
Central Government developed a national procurement framework with local authorities; receiving bids from private sector companies to provide the infrastructure (the actual physical changes to upgrade to fibre broadband) and the expertise required to extend the existing network. BT was selected to deliver the infrastructure improvements, working closely with the West Yorkshire authorities.
For further information on the funding structure please see ‘About’ section.
What do we need from businesses and residents?
Demand registrations help us map out the areas where there is high demand for enhanced broadband. However, this will not influence the current infrastructure roll out but will be able to feed into future programmes to improve digital connectivity across the City Region.
Also we would like to hear from any residents or businesses that have taken up fibre optic broadband in their area as part of the Superfast West Yorkshire Project.
If you would like to feature as one of our case studies please email: email@example.com
Are you working with anybody else?
Yes, we will be working closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the Leeds City Region partnership, all 5 West Yorkshire Authorities plus York City Council, other public service organisations and business support partners to ensure that we can communicate with as many residents and businesses as possible about the project.
Who I can speak to if I want to know more about the project?
If you want to know more about the project or find out if your postcode falls into the rollout plans please contact:
My speed is still really slow – why is this?
It can depend on how far away from a cabinet you are located, or it could be that the uplift within your area is not that high. You can check your broadband speed here – www.cable.co.uk/tools/broadband-speed-test/
Please contact your own broadband supplier in the first instance to see if there is anything they can do to help.
Apparently my cabinet is full? When can I order superfast broadband?
Sometimes adding additional capacity is a relatively straight forward task as it is just a case of adding an extra card or cards within the cabinet. However, on other occasions, there may be the need to add to the existing network infra-structure. This takes more time as local councils need to be consulted to obtain permits to do the work in the highway or pavements.
I’m in a high demand area. It says you are working to provide additional capacity. What does that mean?
The aim is to provide extra capacity as soon as possible for those parts of the network where there is high levels of demand. Catering for additional demand in an area can take time to plan and also the need to increase the infrastructure to accommodate the extra equipment needed. In a number of cases, there may even need to supply be additional fibre cabinet supplied.
Why have we not got access to superfast broadband?
The Superfast West Yorkshire project received funding to extend the coverage of superfast broadband to more rural areas of West Yorkshire and to help extend coverage by around 12% so as by the end of 2015 97% of West Yorkshire will have access to faster, more reliable broadband.
The project runs alongside the commercial BT rollout to bring superfast broadband to as many people as possible across the county.
We realise that there are still some postcodes that do not have access to better broadband, and we have recently signed a Phase Two contract for the project which will widen coverage of superfast broadband to York and Kirklees and allow for 98% coverage.
Separately from the Superfast West Yorkshire Project, Virgin Media are investing nationally in the expansion of their fibre optic broadband network and other services. If you would like to register your interest in the Virgin Media programme build please follow this link:
I have checked my postcode/landline and it is showing that I can access superfast on one site, but another webpage is telling me I can’t?
If you are having this problem, please drop us an email with your postcode and telephone number to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
There can often be delays and/or errors in updating systems used by service providers which can often mean that you will get contradictory information. Also, Superfast West Yorkshire’s Postcode checker can tell you if your postcode area has been upgraded for faster broadband. Unfortunately, in some cases, even though your area has been upgraded your premises may be connected to a different cabinet, in another area which hasn’t been upgraded. Hence, it is important that you use our Availability Checker, which asks for a landline phone number to give you more accurate information about availability of faster broadband at your premises.
New housing developments – why are they not planned with the right infrastructure?
It is the responsibility of the developer to contact BT Openreach (or other infrastructure providers) before the development has begun in order to contract for the provision of fibre broadband into the new housing or business development.