Ten UK cities get shares of enlarged £114m broadband pot

Summary:The government has allocated an extra £14m to its 'super-connected cities' programme, with beneficiaries including the four UK capitals and Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Bradford, Bristol and Birmingham.

The government has increased the amount of money that major cities can use to roll out super-fast broadband by £14m.

On Thursday, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced how it would divide up a £114m pot for what it calls 'super-connected cities' , specifically the four UK capitals and six other cities. Until now, that pot was capped at £100m.

A DCMS spokesman told ZDNet that the extra £14m would come from the unassigned parts of the total £830m fund that has been set aside for deploying super-fast broadband — mostly fibre-based — around the country. Some may also come from "any underspends" on the projects that have already been assigned money, he added.

"The money doesn't just get transferred to the cities in one lump sum," the DCMS spokesman noted. "It gets transferred as and when the work is done so will be spread over the next three years."

The super-connected cities funding was allocated following a competition that launched last December. It appears that the bids of Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham and Sheffield failed, but the winning cities will be funded as follows:

  • Belfast: £13.7m
  • Birmingham: £10m
  • Bristol: £11.3m
  • Cardiff: £11m
  • Edinburgh: £10.7m
  • Leeds & Bradford (joint bid): £14.4m
  • London: £25m
  • Manchester: £12m
  • Newcastle: £6m

"Fast broadband is essential for growth, and is key to the country's economic future," new culture secretary Maria Miller said in a statement. "These 10 cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost."

According to the DCMS, the new funding will see super-fast broadband access extended to an extra 230,000 homes and 55,000 business premises by 2015.

Some smaller cities are also eligible for a cash boost. Shares of a second, £50m round of 'super-connected' funding are being fought for by: Aberdeen, Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Exeter, Gloucester, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Londonderry / Derry, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Perth, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Wolverhampton and York.

Topics: Broadband, Fiber, Government : UK

About

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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