UK's £350m rural broadband boost detailed

Better broadband coming to a countryside near you soon
Better broadband coming to a countryside near you soon

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has announced how a £363 million cash injection will upgrade the broadband infrastructure in England and Scotland, following investments already made in Northern Ireland and Wales.

The government has plans to provide everyone in the UK with broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps in the short term, with superfast broadband to be rolled out to the entire country by 2015.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said, "Some areas of the UK are missing out, with many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffering painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all. We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age."

Out in the sticks

Strongly rural counties are getting the biggest investment, with Somerset and Devon nabbing £31 million, while North Yorkshire and Cumbria will get £17 million each.

Scotland will receive £69 million in total, with the Scottish government set to distribute the funds as it sees fit.

Ian Livingston, CEO of BT, said in a statement: "It is important that these funds are used wisely and so we would encourage the government to work with private sector partners who are in this for the long run, who are willing to invest significant funds and who can guarantee open and equal access to their networks.

"Open and equal access is essential if competition is to flourish and end users are to benefit from low prices. Local monopolies would benefit no one."

From The Guardian

News Editor (UK)

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