MICROWAVE technology has helped take improved broadband speeds into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

West Witton currently doesn’t benefit from the fibre optic broadband network unveiled in Wensleydale last month because the new cabling doesn’t pass through the village.

But the new technology delivers the service via a microwave signal beamed to a mast above the village before being beamed down to individual homes and businesses - and it has now been officially launched by Richmond’s Tory MP Rishi Sunak .

The West Witton Community Broadband Scheme is one of six pilot schemes around the UK part-funded by the government to explore new technologies to help extend the superfast broadband network in rural areas.

Mr Sunak said alternative broadband delivery technologies like microwave could help many more isolated communities get better speeds.

“I am passionate about improving broadband in rural areas. It is so important to modern life - for education, for business, for families,” he added.

One of the beneficiaries of the new service will be local parish councillor Dr Graham Bottley who runs an online scientific tuition business called InCytometry.

He said it would make a significant difference to his business as he had overseas clients but was restricted from expanding by the limitations of his existing service.

“I have some clients outside the UK, particularly in the US, but I can only just service them adequately with my existing service. This will make a huge difference.”

West Witton parish council was instrumental in bring the project to the village along with Mr Sunak and the firms who installed the equipment and provide the service - I Love Broadband and Airwave - and BDUK, the government body responsible for delivering superfast broadband.