Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds and Bradford bid to be 'super-connected' cities

Leeds and Bradford councils have joined up to bid for a share of money to make themselves "super-connected".

The government announced last year it was making £100m available to create 100Mbps (megabits per second) citywide networks in 10 urban areas.

If successful, the authorities will use the funds to enable ultra-fast broadband access to 88,000 homes and more than 16,000 businesses.

The councils said creating superfast networks would drive local economies.

Current broadband service coverage tends to have speeds of around 2 to 10Mbps.

Leeds City Region said the bid was looking to set a new standard of at least 10 times faster.

'Transform economies'

Full wireless coverage will also be put in place in both Leeds and Bradford city centres, as well as along key transport routes into and between both cities.

Keith Wakefield, Leeds City Council leader, said: "The two cities' economies are integrally linked and are the driving force for the wider growth of the city region.

"It therefore made absolute sense to prepare a joint submission, and the funding we have bid for will enable us to transform our economies and set the standards for international competitiveness."

Bidding cities will be expected to contribute to the cost by providing additional investment.

Proposals have to be submitted by Monday and the successful cities will be announced in the Budget in March.

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