The government will fund super-fast broadband and Wi-Fi in the 10 largest UK cities, and pump £50 million into the same for the country’s smaller cities.
Badget 2012: Ultrafast broadband for UK
Chancellor George Osborne today announced that Britain’s broadband would be the fastest in the world, using this investment.
On the same day that Sky announced its new streaming Now TV service that will offer popular Sky programming content to users over the internet Osborne said ten cities – Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and London – would be upgraded to ultra-fast broadband and W-Fi.
London will benefit from top-speed broadband, receiving up to £25m to install faster internet connections for 750,000 Londoners and 120,000 businesses, in addition to a wireless access area spreading eastwards from central London towards the Olympic site, according to the Times.
Londoners recently camne out against the addition of Wi-Fi on the city’s Underground system.
An additional £50 million funding will be made available to smaller cities to upgrade their broadband networks.
Osborne claimed that 90 percent of the UK population would be able to access this superfast fixed-line broadband.
“To be Europe’s technology centre we also need to have the best infrastructure,” he said during his budget speech.
Ultra-fast broadband services were key to Britain's “modern industrial policy,” he said.
PC Advisor reported last week that broadband providers are already working on faster connections. Virgin Media is in the process of doubling its customers’ broadband speeds to a new high of 120Mbp.
TalkTalk last week announced its fastest package, an 80Mbps fibre optic service.
The forthcoming 4G LTE network could be up and running in the UK by the end of this year after Ofcom gave Everything Everywhere provisional permission to use its existing 1800MHz spectrum for a 4G network.
But even that might not please users of the new iPad, as its 4G LTE is set up for US use, via 700MHz and 2100MHz bands.