UK invests extra €117m in high-speed broadband

The UK government is set to pump an additional £100 million (€117 million) into its high-speed broadband plans, as it seeks to create a network of ten cities offering data rates of 80Mbps to 100 Mbps.
 
Chancellor George Osborne outlined the plan during an autumn budget update yesterday, revealing that the pot will first be used to bring superfast fixed and mobile services to Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. The remaining six cities will be decided by a nationwide competition.
 
The pot of cash will be divvied out to small and medium-sized businesses, and special economic zones in the ten cities, along with local governments. A spokesman for the department of culture, media and sport told the BBC that telcos will also be able to apply for funding.
 
Osborne’s plan brings the government’s total spending on high-speed broadband to £630 million, including an existing fund of £530 million to boost rural deployments. Such investment is deemed necessary to help the government achieve goals of supplying 24Mbps services to 66% of UK homes, and basic 2Mbps services to the remainder, by 2015.

The government also opened a public consultation to decide if additional telegraph poles should be erected to carry cables for superfast services. The move comes as BT prepares to publish pricing for physical infrastructure access, following a successful trial by Fujitsu earlier this month.

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