Plans to launch superfast broadband in east Cleveland could be slowed down or even cancelled entirely because of an ongoing dispute with York Potash, a company that is refusing access to its land.
Residents have been working to secure broadband connection for villages like Lingdale, Stanghow, Liverton and Boosbeck, but an inability to lay down the pipes might scupper the scheme.
If York Potash continues to refuse access, solutions such as satellite broadband may need to be considered.
Councillor Steve Kay said: "Success would not only make life less tiresome for internet users in east Cleveland, but would provide a much needed economic fillip to our area."
York Potash plans to open a site at Sneaton, where it is believed a high-grade polyhalite deposit is situated.
Research from the Labour party published in the Guardian recently revealed that there is still a major gap in broadband speeds between rural and urban areas.
Posted by Mark Wynn