HIGH-speed fibre broadband is being rolled out to more areas across the Keighley district.

BT has revealed that the Superfast West Yorkshire project is being hugely expanded this summer.

Within months, fibre broadband will be available to more than 2,000 homes and businesses in areas – including Steeton – currently without access.

And availability is being widened in some parts of the district, including Keighley itself and Cullingworth, which already have the high-speed technology.

"We’ve still got a long way to go but the progress so far is extremely encouraging and it’s great to see the second phase getting underway," said Ian Gray, chairman of Superfast West Yorkshire.

"Every day the number of new services delivered to people online – whether designed to entertain, educate or meet our daily needs – is growing.

"Many digital services require a fast, reliable high-speed broadband connection to work properly and content and applications will only get more sophisticated until superfast broadband will become essential to carry out all tasks online."

As part of the multi-million pound programme, a total of 12,000 homes and businesses are due to be 'enabled' this year as engineers install more cabinets and lay hundreds of kilometres of cable.

Just under 7,000 premises across the region already have access to high-speed broadband thanks to the Superfast West Yorkshire initiative.

The aim is that by the end of 2015, 97 per cent of households and businesses across most of West Yorkshire will be linked up.

Funding for the project is provided by the government, the European Regional Development Fund, BT and four West Yorkshire local authorities.

Bill Murphy, for BT, said: “This expansion is great news for the people of the district. From children doing their homework to social media, e-commerce and home entertainment, fast broadband is the critical enabler.

“Fibre is no longer 'nice to have' for business, it is a 'need to have'. To compete effectively in this world of technology you need to be able to move, act and do business quickly. Faster broadband breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world.

"It will help local businesses find new customers and become more competitive and efficient, whilst for households the high-speed technology will offer new educational, training and leisure opportunities."