NORTH Yorkshire County Council has awarded the £20.5m contract for phase three of its Superfast North Yorkshire (SFNY) project to BT.

The council said the award was made after “a competitive procurement process”.

It added that the majority of the premises will benefit from having fibre optic cables connected directly them, with speeds of up to 330 megabits per second (Mbps).

When SFNY formed in 2010, nearly 50,000 business and residential premises received less than two Mbps - and the average broadband speed of the 300,000 premises in North Yorkshire was under four Mbps. Following the intervention of SFNY, by the end of December, 89 per cent of premises in the county could access superfast broadband.

County councillor Don Mackenzie said: “The outcome of the phase three contract procurement is remarkable and puts the quality of broadband provision to some of our most remote communities on to a new, much higher level."

“It is very good news indeed for those residents who have been waiting patiently for SFNY to get to them and their patience is likely to be rewarded with some of the best broadband quality in the country.”

Thirsk & Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, who has campaigned to get better broadband and mobile internet in remote and rural areas, tweeted that “Superfast North Yorkshire need to make sure that this time they use all technologies in this phase, including wireless, to get to hard to reach premises.”