Internet technology: 10 UK cities set for £100m broadband 'supercharging'
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Wednesday 30 November 2011
The Government is set to boost the country's superfast broadband infrastructure after unveiling plans to invest a further £100m to "supercharge" 10 cities across the UK.
The Chancellor announced the investment in "new superfast digital networks" in cities including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. It marks the latest step of the Government's plan to help to create the best broadband network in Europe by 2015.
The new investment comes in addition to the £830m already earmarked for broadband overseen by Broadband Delivery UK.
The latest sum, which some industry insiders said was "welcome but not massive", will be used as "infill" for urban areas that have no broadband coverage, and help to boost speeds across the cities by up to 100Mb.
The Autumn Statement said: "There will be a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises and strategic employment zones to support economic growth."
The remaining six "super-connected cities" to receive funding will be decided in a UK-wide competition, with the winners announced at next year's Budget.
The funds form part of the Government's commitment to the additional £5bn of capital projects in the next spending review period as part of the National Infrastructure Plan.
The Government has already earmarked £530m for rural broadband and announced a further £20m yesterday in the form of the Rural Community Broadband Fund. "If it is successful the Government will consider extending it," the statement said.
David Snell, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, questioned how much of an impact the new sums would have on developing the broadband network.
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