UK's ultra-fast broadband plans given Budget boost

UK's ultra-fast broadband plans given Budget boost
UK betting big on broadband

The UK government has announced that it is to find extra funding to bolster the broadband infrastructure in the UK and is aiming to get ultra-fast broadband deals to at least 1.7 million homes by 2015.

This speedy broadband vision was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his 2012 Budget.

In the speech he revealed that 10 cities will bid for a part of the £100 million "super-connected cities" subsidy, which is set to offer 100Mbps speeds to homes in the chosen area.

The 10 cities earmarked for this are: Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle.

Slowest to fastest

The money is set to balance out areas that will not be covered by the likes of Virgin Media and BT, which are currently already bringing super-fast broadband to areas in the UK.

"Two years ago Britain had some of the slowest broadband speeds in Europe; today our plans will deliver some of the fastest," said Osborne.

"But 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."

The Budget is putting a big focus on broadband and it seems that Osborne is now seeing the internet the same way he is seeing roads and railways – essential infrastructures that need to be developed and maintained.

Speaking about the pledge, Andrew Ferguson, editor of Thinkbroadband, said: "Broadband is moving up the infrastructure ladder, and the 2012 Budget recognises its importance to underpinning business, both those engaged directly in digital content creation, and more traditional businesses."

Via the Guardian

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.