A TINY Yorkshire Dales village has become the first place in the North of England to benefit from a new way of achieving superfast broadband in remote areas.

Ulshaw, near Middleham in Lower Wensleydale, has just 16 homes and businesses – but thanks to new technology it now has access to fibre broadband which is run through the local telephone exchange.

Residents will get speeds of up to 80Mbps with BT’s Fibre to the Remote Node (FTTRN) technology, which works by installing a fibre optic cable much closer to properties using a small box, known as a remote node.

Traditionally BT would need to build a much larger street cabinet to bring fibre broadband to an area, but the remote node effectively acts like a miniature cabinet – and it can be positioned in a variety of areas, including telegraph poles or inside manhole covers.

The node can be used where the traditional approach is too complex or expensive to achieve.

But other larger villages further up the Dale are still without broadband, or even strong mobile phone coverage.

Richmondshire District Councillor Yvonne Peacock said Aysgarth and neighbouring Low Abbotside were still waiting for decent coverage.

She said: “Aysgarth is an important village – it has a garage, two successful pubs that want to take online bookings, a tea room and a shop. It is very frustrating.

“The village school is in Low Abbotside so it is unfair that these communities are missing out. They may be part of the second phase of broadband roll-out, but we don’t know when that will start or if they will be included.”

The scheme in Ulshaw was made possible by funding from the Superfast North Yorkshire programme, a partnership between BT and North Yorkshire County Council.

Paul Carlo, senior project manager for Superfast North Yorkshire, said: “Using FTTRN was the ideal solution for Ulshaw.

“With such a small number of premises we couldn’t justify the cost of building and installing one of our green fibre cabinets.”

Resident Luke Pearce said: “Without the remote node technology we and everyone else in the village would have been scuppered.

“I sometimes work from home and for that I need a reliable and stable broadband connection, which I now have.”

Superfast North Yorkshire is making fibre broadband available to more than 140,000 homes and businesses across the county.