Culture secretary announces £10m fund for innovation in spreading superfast broadband

A £10 million fund will be available to alternative technology providers who come forward with innovative ideas to help superfast broadband reach Britain’s most remote communities the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, has announced.

The announcement coincides with the appointment of a new Broadband Chief Exec, Chris Townsend, who helped to deliver the hugely successful London 2012 Games. He will take on delivery of the whole Broadband Delivery programme.

A key part of Government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future by providing better infrastructure, the government’s ambitious broadband programme is already on track to deliver superfast speeds to 95% of the UK by 2017. The programme is well underway and current progress is exceeding expectations, so now the focus is shifting to the hardest and most remote five per cent of premises in Britain.

Potential technologies that could be piloted under the new fund for remote areas include:

  • Using 4G mobile signal to deliver ‘fixed wireless’ superfast broadband’.
  • Using fibre direct to premises.
  • Taking fibre from broadband cabinets to a distribution point further down the network, increasing speeds by reducing the reliance on copper.
  • Satellite technology.

The fund will open on 17 March 2014 and we are asking local authorities to offer support to these pilot projects.

Chris Townsend, Chief Exec of BDUK said: “Ensuring that broadband can reach businesses and consumers across the country is one of the most important policies in Government. Faster connections will improve the way people live, work and spend their leisure time. I look forward to starting my new role as chief executive of BDUK and building on the good work being done to get superfast broadband to people all over the UK.”


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