UK cities divide up fast broadband cash

 
Houses of Parliament Londoners should benefit from promised "super-fast" download speeds

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The government has announced how it will share the money promised to 10 UK cities to allow them to create superfast broadband networks.

London gets the largest share of the £114m pot with £25m, followed by Leeds and Bradford, which will divide £14.4m.

The money will be used to build city-wide networks, offering homes and businesses speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second).

The government wants to make the UK the fastest place in Europe by 2015.

A further £50m is to be awarded to ten smaller cities.

HOW THE CASH IS SPLIT

  • London - £25m
  • Leeds and Bradford - £14.4m
  • Belfast - £13.7m
  • Manchester - £12m
  • Bristol - £11.3m
  • Cardiff - £11m
  • Edinburgh - £10.7m
  • Birmingham - £10m
  • Newcastle - £6m
Digital leaders

New culture secretary Maria Miller promised last week to cut the red tape associated with broadband rollouts.

She hopes that the city networks can be built soon.

"These 10 cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost," she said.

The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment with the best in the world," she added.

However, the Labour Party accused the minister of spin.

"This government is disguising its failure to roll out universal broadband by making yet another re-announcement about the superconnected cities programme," said the Shadow Minister for Media and Telecoms, Helen Goodman.

"It is also unlikely that the government will meet its target of rolling out super-fast broadband to 90% of premises by 2015."

Alongside the government money, each city is expected to invest some of its own funds in the broadband projects.

The 10 cities' plans are expected to bring superfast broadband access (offering speeds between 80 and 100 megabits per second) to around an extra 230,000 residential and 55,000 business premises as well as high speed wireless to even more.

All the networks are due to be completed by 2015.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 169.

    About time! My broadband provider says I should get 5 mbps, but typically my speed is more like 5-10 kpbs! I know this may not be completely their fault, but surely living only 10 miles out of central London I can expect better connectivity than this?!

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 153.

    I run a business in an urban area and businesses that rely on fast connectivity can already access super fast broadband by choosing a leased line or cable connectivity. The investment would be much better in bringing better broadband speeds to rural and suburban areas.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 125.

    why are people surprised that the biggest city gets the most money. that makes sense! as for working from home - i work from home on < 1Mbps - just remote connect to a PC in a central office with better network

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 80.

    Once again out of touch politicians have thrown public money in the wrong direction. Cities are already benefitting from extensive infrastructure upgrades and financial input from the private sector companies competing for high speed broad-band customers. There is, as usual, no interest in businesses in rural areas that are trying to run their affairs limping along on 3meg (if they're lucky)

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 71.

    The government wants to make the UK the fastest place in Europe by 2015

    Not true. Rural areas will not be included. London-centric allocation of resources - again.

    This increases pressure on the transport system and forces people to waste time travelling. With fast broadband at home many people, esp. mothers, would choose to work from home thus increasing the nation's productive workforce

    Fail!

 

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