First UK Cities to get Superfast BB Cash Announced

News Article - Friday, 21 September 2012 10:06

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

The government has announced which UK cities are to get cash for superfast broadband first, with the biggest chunk of the £114m pot going to London, which will receive £25m.

The fund, intended to help cities create networks for superfast broadband, has been split and allocated to ten UK cities with Leeds and Bradford getting the next highest award at £14.4m. It’s all part of the UK govs scheme to make Britain one of the fastest broadband infrastructures in Europe by 2015.

The plan is to install networks city-wide which will allow homes and businesses to receive broadband speeds of up to 100Mps.

Further cities announced to receive cash are Belfast, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Newcastle; it’s also thought that a further £50m will be awarded to smaller cities around the country.

It’s thought that the cash will be taken from the existing £830m funding set aside to build faster fibre networks across the UK by 2015. Last week, new culture secretary Maria Miller said that she intended to speed up the process for broadband rollouts.

"These 10 cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost," she said.

The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment with the best in the world."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport also said there will be a second round of funding to come in the future but Shadow Minister Helen Goodman criticised the move, saying that it’s "unlikely” that the government would reach its target by 2015 to bring superfast speeds to 90% of premises.

She accused the culture secretary of attempting to disguise this by making further announcements about the overall programme, according to the BBC.

Earlier this month, the DCMS announced its intention to "fast-track” the programme – councils will no longer need to give planning permission for fibre cabinets to ISPs as part of the ‘fast-track’ programme, which is designed to cut through the "red tape” thought to be slowing the process down.

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