England and Scotland land £363m broadband windfall

The multimillion pound funding will come to the areas of England and Scotland that need it most, in order to provide people living in those towns and villages with connections of at least 2Mbps

The Department of Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport is to spend over a third of a billion pounds in England and Scotland to revitalise the UK's broadband infrastructure.

£295m is going to English counties, while Scotland will receive nearly £69m as part of the scheme to provide everyone in the UK with broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps, the DCMS said on Tuesday.

"Some areas of the UK are missing out, with many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffering painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all. We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age," culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.

The investment comes from the £530m government fund set aside to modernise the infrastructure, which has already seen cash allocated to Northern Ireland, Wales and some counties in England.

Private companies such as BT and Virgin Media are expected to deliver super-fast broadband to two-thirds of the UK, with the fund providing access for the final third and making it more viable for private investment in areas of low population density.

However, the DCMS said that England and Scotland's allocation is based on need, not the number of people living or working in a county. The areas getting the biggest handouts in the announcement are Devon and Somerset, with £31m, North Yorkshire, with almost £18m and Cumbria, with just over £17m. A breakdown of the funding each county in England will receive is available here.

Delivery plan

In order to apply for a portion of the funding, county councils in England will have to propose "an effective delivery plan", and secure matching European, private or own-council investment. The Scottish government will decide how best to use the funds in Scotland.

Broadband provides a key lifeline for businesses and individuals and is long overdue in communities stretching from the Borders to the Highlands & Islands.

– Michael Moore MP

Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, welcomed news of the funding and urged the Scottish government to match it.

"Broadband provides a key lifeline for businesses and individuals and is long overdue in communities stretching from the Borders to the Highlands and Islands. This government is investing in a change for the better and I hope the Scottish government will follow that example," Moore said.

On 27 July, Ofcom revealed that the average broadband speed in the UK had risen by around 10 percent over the preceding six months — to 6.8Mbps — but that there is an increasing gap between what companies promise and what consumers receive.

BT also welcomed the announcement, saying it would consider bidding for the funds in partnership with public-sector bodies.

"It is important that these funds are used wisely, and so we would encourage the government to work with private-sector partners who are in this for the long run, who are willing to invest significant funds and who can guarantee open and equal access to their networks," Ian Livingstone, BT's chief executive, said in a statement. "Open and equal access is essential if competition is to flourish and end users are to benefit from low prices. Local monopolies would benefit no one."

See page two for the full funding breakdown in England. 

Area





Constituent authoritiesTotal premises in white areas
(modelled)
Total number
White as a % of
total
Indicative BDUK allocation
1. BedfordshireBedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton34,865259,74513.4%£1,060,000
2. BerkshireBracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham29,027364,5438.0%£1,430,000
3. BuckinghamshireBuckinghamshire, Milton Keynes54,703322,48617.0%£2,100,000
4. CambridgeshireCambridgeshire, Peterborough140,956348,34540.5%£6,750,000
5. CheshireCheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, Warrington100,613476,24821.1%£3,240,000
6. Cornwall and the Isles of ScillyCornwall, Isles of Scilly232,361261,14389.0%£0 (presumed covered by BT broadband measure)
7. CumbriaCumbria240,683250,08196.2%£17,130,000
8. DerbyshireDerbyshire, Derby188,043468,97140.1%£7,390,000
9. Devon and SomersetDevon, Plymouth, Torbay, Somerset, North Somerset563,022877,22064.2%£31,320,000
10. DorsetDorset, Bournemouth, Poole172,670357,68048.3%£9,440,000
11. DurhamCounty Durham, Gateshead144,692338,40442.8%£7,790,000
12. East SussexEast Sussex, Brighton and Hove226,530362,23062.5%£10,640,000
13. EssexEssex, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock219,525773,86628.4%£6,460,000
14. GloucestershireGloucestershire150,405276,84954.3%£8,070,000
15. Greater LondonGreater London34,8773,326,4701.0%£0 (presumed covered by private sector)
16. Greater ManchesterBolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan71,1711,221,9075.8%£990,000
17. Hampshire and the Isle of WightHampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton227,592846,50226.9%£8,420,000
18. HerefordshireCounty Of Herefordshire83,96284,12899.8%£6,350,000
19. HertfordshireHertfordshire39,126485,7018.1%£1,110,000
20. HumberCity Of Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire(not all KCOM data available yet)365,075(not all KCOM data available yet)£8,540,000 (subject to revision)
21. KentKent, Medway279,001760,14936.7%£9,870,000
22. LancashireLancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool260,716673,59238.7%£10,830,000
23. Leicestershire and RutlandLeicestershire, Leicester, Rutland109,190434,63625.1%£3,880,000
24. LincolnshireLincolnshire230,963331,63969.6%£14,310,000
25. MerseysideKnowsley, Liverpool, St. Helens, Sefton, Wirral105,884636,89516.6%£5,460,000
26. NorfolkNorfolk274,175410,64366.8%£15,440,000
27. NorthamptonshireNorthamptonshire74,118310,49123.9%£4,080,000
28. NorthumberlandNorthumberland108,508152,80471.0%£7,030,000
29. North YorkshireNorth Yorkshire, York247,864372,01066.6%£17,840,000
30. NottinghamshireNottinghamshire, Nottingham117,650495,51123.7%£4,250,000
31. OxfordshireOxfordshire83,570280,87829.8%£3,860,000
32. ShropshireShropshire, Telford and Wrekin101,413211,09948.0%£8,210,000
33. South YorkshireBarnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield227,635605,71037.6%£0 (presumed covered by Digital Region Limited)
34. StaffordshireStaffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent178,158495,28336.0%£7,440,000
35. SuffolkSuffolk226,184339,99366.5%£11,680,000
36. SurreySurrey52,822491,86310.7%£1,310,000
37. Tees ValleyDarlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees26,550305,8508.7%£770,000
38. Tyne and WearNewcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland119,004424,45128.0%£3,420,000
39. WarwickshireWarwickshire, Coventry, Solihull119,757477,30525.1%£4,070,000
40. West of EnglandBath and North East Somerset, City of Bristol, South Gloucestershire54,560377,59114.4%£1,430,000
41. West MidlandsBirmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton95,611938,23310.2%£630,000
42. West SussexWest Sussex175,526371,33447.3%£6,260,000
43. West YorkshireBradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield212,3361,000,58321.2%£6,340,000
44. WiltshireWiltshire, Swindon104,145302,14234.5%£4,900,000
45. WorcestershireWorcestershire63,280255,75424.7%£3,350,000

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