Osborne puts broadband first in Budget

Osborne puts broadband first in Budget

Summary: The development of broadband networks in the UK is a priority for the government, chancellor George Osborne said during his Budget speech on Wednesday.The National Infrastructure Plan, outlined during the speech, identifies broadband as one of the projects first in line for government funding over the next decade.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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The development of broadband networks in the UK is a priority for the government, chancellor George Osborne said during his Budget speech on Wednesday.

The National Infrastructure Plan, outlined during the speech, identifies broadband as one of the projects first in line for government funding over the next decade. Osborne said he wanted to "turn Britain into Europe's technology centre" and to do this the UK needs "the best technology infrastructure".

UK Budget

George Osborne has presented the latest UK Budget, which includes £50m for super-fast broadband provision in small cities. Image credit: The Prime Minister's Office/Crown copyright

The chancellor announced £50m will be set aside to pay for super-fast broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity in small cities, to add to the funding going to 10 large cities in the country: Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and London.

"We should not be complacent by saying it is enough to be the best in Europe when countries like Korea and Singapore do even better," Osborne said.

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Topic: Tech Industry

Karen Friar

About Karen Friar

Karen Friar is news editor for ZDNet in the UK, based in London. She started out in film journalism in San Francisco, before making the switch to tech coverage at ZDNet.com. Next came a move to CNET News.com, where she looked after west coast coverage of business technology, and finally a return to her homeland with ZDNet UK.

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  • On one hand we pay subsidies to BT to install Superfast Broadband, yet BT Openreach themselves seem to have different ideas. BT have just replaced the nearby Pole with underground ducting and new cables, and guess what they installed - Copper.

    Seems a bit daft to be paying subsidies to BT, yet BT themselves, have no policy to renew/update existing installations by upgrading to fibre as existing copper installations reach the end of serviceable life. This is something that needs to be addressed - NOW.

    If we're going to pay BT subsidies, at least make sure all the businesses of BT are heading in the same direction, so that the national infrastructure is moving/being upgraded over time aswell.

    Superfast Broadband is basically non existent - in terms of rural - market 1 exchanges and will remain so probably until 2020 at the earliest, if not longer. Also, Uploads speeds will become much more of an issue over the next few years due to devices such as iPads,Cloud Services - and Copper ADSL is extremely limiting in this respect.

    Remember too, the upgrade of an exchange isn't the important issue any more - the connection/upgrade of your nearest roadside cabinet is the important point of reference now. OFCom should make this information public, and show how many roadside cabinets will need to be upgraded to FTTC for the UK to get a fairly 'comprehensive' Superfast Broadband.

    A broadband map based on where people actually live, not based on the percentage of the population it covers.
    My estimate is a minimum of 50,000 Roadside Cabinets. 10 to each exchange. Lets forget the hype and start looking how this can be implemented nationally, and economically - and if that means ditching BT (and enthusiasts working a Saturday for free digging trenches) - so be it, because competition isn't working.

    We also need far more knowledgeable people helping local Government regarding the technical implementation, because the people dishing out the money haven't a clue what they are paying for.
    adamjarvis