Each of the 12 will take a share of the £50m super-connected city fund set up to provide homes and businesses with ultra-fast broadband and high-speed wireless internet access.
Among those winning funding in the first wave was a joint Leeds-Bradford bid.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: “Fast broadband is essential for growth and the creation of jobs. York has produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn the city into a digital leader, and give the local economy a real boost.
“The new investment will help put the city at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment and supporting Britain in the global race.”
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said: “The ultra-fast broadband announcement for York is great news for our city which will provide a real boost for inward investment as well as helping small and medium-sized businesses to grow.”
In September, proposals were announced to simplify the planning system to speed up the rollout of superfast broadband, enabling infrastructure to be installed without prior local council approval.