12 'smaller' UK cities win £50m for 100Mbps fibre broadband

12 'smaller' UK cities win £50m for 100Mbps fibre broadband

Summary: The 12 cities that will share £50m to improve their broadband networks for residents and businesses have now been named - is yours on the list?


Twelve UK cities including Cambridge, Brighton and Aberdeen will receive funding for new ultra-fast broadband networks capable of delivering download speeds of up to 100Mbps.

The announcement, made on Thursday by chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement, confirmed plans - first outlined in 2011 - to invest in the networking infrastructure of smaller cities.

"By offering high-tech and digital companies the infrastructure they need, they will be able to compete for business, investment and jobs with the world's top digital cities," a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said in a statement.

The 12 cities that will split the £50m of funding are Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Oxford, Portsmouth, Salford, and York in England; Aberdeen and Perth in Scotland; Newport in Wales; and Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The amount of funding for each city will be announced at a later date, the DCMS said.

The scheme is the second phase of the government's super-connected cities plan, which aims to give businesses and residents access to ultra-fast connectivity before the end of 2015. The first phase of the plan saw £100m allocated to 10 larger cities, which included the four capitals of the UK.

For the smaller super-connected fund, cities in England, Scotland and Wales with a Royal Charter and at least 45,000 homes and businesses were able to apply for a portion of the funding. In Northern Ireland, the requirement was lowered to 35,000 homes and businesses.

Both ultra-fast city funds come under the government's umbrella of ongoing investment via its Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, which sees the lion's share of the total £680m investment going towards improving broadband connectivity in more rural areas that often have sub-standard internet connectivity.

"The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage" — Maria Miller, culture secretary

"Fast broadband is essential for growth and the creation of jobs. We have made significant progress with our broadband programme over the last few months, cutting through EU red tape and that continues," culture secretary Maria Miller said in a statement. "The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment and supporting Britain in the global race."

The BDUK scheme aims to deliver a minimum of 2Mbps for everyone in the country by 2015, with 90 percent of the population also getting access to super-fast speeds (25Mbps or faster, as defined by the DCMS) within the same time frame.

These goals also sit within the wider broadband aims of the EU Digital Agenda, which include reaching 50-percent uptake of 100Mbps or faster broadband by 2020, and a minimum download speed of 30Mbps for all European residents by 2020.

Topics: Networking, Broadband, Fiber, United Kingdom

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Rural Highway More Important IMHO

    BT and Others Providing Fibre Optic in most large Towns and Cities at what I think is a reasonable cost I have BT Infinity 2 and get 76 down and 16.6 up (Mbs) do I need more?? Not really 750 meg file down in a couple or three minutes off a decent server, the speed relies more on the server at the other end, so the "International Highways" control that which we in the UK can do little about, BUT the one thing that is needed is the out laying villages and rural road's / community's need a better connection, a Friend with his own Farm less than 6 miles from me is lucky to get 2.4Mbs on his Phone line (sometimes he is lucky to connect at all) invariably work's off a dongle from a tower about 5 miles line of sight across the valley getting 5Mbs on a good day when it is not raining or the leaves on the tree's are not wet and the kids for nearby housing up and down the road are either at school or in bed.

    Towns and Cities are well served by the standard way's it is those in out laying areas that need for the sake of their businesses a DECENT connection, BT needs to replace overhead WIRES with Fibre Optic and work on getting the connection technology to the customers house's / workplace's not at the end of a road which might be miles away.
    The BarnOwl