Ten cities, including London, Belfast and Cardiff, will receive a total of GBP 114 million funding to build networks of fibre-optic cables in areas where BT and Virgin media have found it unprofitable to do so, thereby giving more people access to broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbits/sec.
The majority of the share, GBP 25 million, will go to London, 13.7 million to Belfast, 11 million to Cardiff and GBP 10.7 million to Edinburgh. The remaining money, 53.6 million, will be sharedby Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and a joint project by Leeds and Bradford.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who had earlier in the month made the controversial announcement of taking strict measures to cut any red tape that comes in the way of rolling out fast broadband across the country, said that “fast broadband is essential for growth. These ten cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost.”
Although a second round of funding of GBP 50 million is open to 27 cities with a Royal Charter, broadband news and information Thinkbroadband believes that “funding for the 10 largest cities will be at the expense of the other projects,” referring to the original decision of choosing 14 cities.
The project is expected to be completed in 2015 and will require the chosen cities to provide additional resources.
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