£50m for 12 super-connected cities: A good idea?

Ad hoc decisions about important infrastructure?

George Osborne’s announcement that 12 cities would be sharing GBP 50 million to get super-fast broadband (minimum speed of 80Mbps) has some worried.

Graham Bolton, director of sales at Cambium Networks believes that the money should go to rural areas who do not have broadband at all, instead of going to cities that already have “decent” broadband.

The £50m funding spread across 12 cities will not make a big impact, but £50m in rural areas will go a long way and make a significant impact to people who need it,” he said.

Andrew Saunders, head of project management at Zen Internet, believes that the government should be worried that there has only been a 7% uptake in fibre broadband in the places where it is available; while Labour’s concern is that the coalition’s plan to roll-out across the UK is not strong enough.

This government is making ad hoc decisions about important infrastructure like broadband – which is vital to the future of our economy,” said Labour MP Tom Watson.

“They have ripped up the previous, comprehensive plan on broadband, and replaced it only with piecemeal initiatives, which means we are falling behind our rivals in other countries. I would like to see the government set out a proper plan for these things, get a cross-party consensus and then stick to it,” added Watson.

Sir John Armitt will be examining infrastructure plans on behalf of the Labour Party.


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