Government Announces ‘Super Connected Cities’ Funding

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Culture Secretary Maria Miller tells how much money the UK’s ‘super connected cities’ will get

The ten winners that won the government’s ‘super connected cities’ competition have discovered how much of the £114 million of government funding they will receive.

The money will be used to provide ultrafast broadband and high speed wireless access to homes and businesses in the four UK capitals and six other English cities.

It is expected that speeds of between 80 and 100 mbps will be provided to an additional 230,000 residential and 55,000 business premises with high speed Internet access afforded to even more.

Super Connected Cities

broadband network fibreLondon will receive the most funding of the super connected cities with £25 million of the pot, followed by the joint-bid between Leeds and Bradford which will get £14.4 million. The Northern Irish capital Belfast gets £13.7 million, Manchester £12 million and Bristol £11.3 million.

The capital of Wales, Cardiff has been allocated £11 million, slightly more than Edinburgh which has a £10.7 million share and Birmingham which has £10 million of the pot. Newcastle will receive the least amount of funding with a comparatively meagre £6 million share.

The government’s aim is to improve the UK’s digital infrastructure and attract business to the super-connected cities and is part of its pledge for the UK to have the best broadband in Europe by 2015.

“Fast broadband is essential for growth, and is key to the country’s economic future.  These ten cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost,” said culture secretary Maria Miller. “The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment with the best in the world.”

Parliament Government London © anshar Shutterstock 2012Miller replaced Jeremy Hunt, who became health secretary in a cabinet reshuffle earlier this month. One of her first actions was to relax the rules for broadband infrastructure so that ISPs no longer have to seek approval from local councils.

Earlier this year, the government announced the shortlist for a second round of funding. A shortlist of 27 cities competing for the £50m funding includes Aberdeen, Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Exeter, Gloucester, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Londonderry / Derry, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Perth, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Wolverhampton and York.

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