Budget 2012: 'Super-connected cities' and video games tax credits

 
Budget red box New tax breaks for the games industry were announced in the Budget

Related Stories

Chancellor George Osborne has announced which cities will benefit from a £100m pot of Treasury cash aimed at making them "super-connected".

These are London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

Mr Osborne also announced a further £50m to improve net access in 10 unnamed "smaller cities".

He said that he wanted the UK to become "Europe's technology centre".

The super-connected cities were first announced in Mr Osborne's autumn statement, when he pledged £100m to create 100Mbps (megabit per second) citywide networks in 10 urban areas.

By 2015 it is hoped the investments in cities will provide ultrafast broadband coverage to 1.7 million households and high-speed wireless broadband for three million residents.

Motorway reception

The chancellor also announced plans to extend mobile coverage to 60,000 rural homes and along at least 10 key roads by 2015, including the A2 and A29 in Northern Ireland, the A57, A143, A169, A352, A360 and A591 in England, the A82(T) in Scotland and the A470(T) in Wales, subject to planning permission.

Start Quote

The primary concern should be the provision of a quality service to rural areas before pursuing the title of fastest broadband in the world”

End Quote Julia Stent USwitch

Funding would come out of the £150m investment announced in the autumn statement.

The government will also consider whether direct intervention is required to improve mobile coverage for rail passengers.

Seb Lahtinen, co-founder of broadband news site Think Broadband, said the move was "part of a drive to ensure that not only is the UK the best in Europe in terms of broadband speeds, but can compete on an international stage against countries like South Korea".

"The announcement by the chancellor is a recognition of the fact that broadband technology underpins the economy as a whole, and in particular the digital content industries in this country," he added.

Others felt that money would be better spent in improving rural broadband.

"Whilst funding earmarked for ultra-fast broadband in 10 UK cities is both ambitious and heartening, and will undoubtedly benefit technology companies looking to develop and expand in the UK, the primary concern should be the provision of a quality service to rural areas before pursuing the title of fastest broadband in the world," said Julia Stent, director of telecoms at price comparison site Uswitch.

"Although there are still broadband blackspots and speed issues in some urban areas of the UK, we worry that the major towns and cities will speed ahead of the rest of the country in the premature quest to become fastest in the world."

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 139.

    @129.mc_theoldsmithy
    8 Mb/s away from the larger cities!? You're lucky!

    I live in central London and barelly get 4 Mb/s.

    If BT can't even get proper coverage of high-speed Internet in a high-density urban environment, how are we ever going to get the needed speeds for things like telemedicine and HD streaming video?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 138.

    Why does anyone care about 100Mbps+? Because the next generation stuff, semantic web, distributed applications, dynamic ontology matching and the like will need it. Not just video. It's taken too long but the network really will be the computer soon. There's plenty of real-world, business applications that could use gigabit, never mind 100Mbps but it's a start. This actually is important now.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 137.

    I live within 5 miles of 4 towns and 35 miles from London ... we get less than 1mbps here and there are 1200 people on our exchange ... people in cities already have fast BB with BT Infinity / Virgin Broadband .. what a stupid decision

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 136.

    Well I suppose it will be cheaper than using the high speed rail link to London, not sure why we need both though and I am sure the money could be better spent elsewhere.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 135.

    Adrian_A: Divide and rule. If you want to know if you should regard someone as on your side, merely ask, "Is he struggling like me?" If so, you are brothers, no matter how many people say you should hate him or he should hate you.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 134.

    Why concentrate on just 10 cities?
    Surely the strength of the internet is that you DON'T have to commute to a large city to take advantage of (or provide) the economy-enhancing services offered by high-speed communications.
    In N.Wales we have little or no 3G and no hi-speed BB.
    The government appears intent on concentrating power and money (and subsidies) in the hands of the existing fat cats.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 133.

    Not really a very constructive use of funds whilst in recession is it. Superfast broadband to keep you 'Entertained' while those in charge re-write the rules.

  • rate this
    +25

    Comment number 132.

    124.
    Alex Banks
    100Mbps is not that impressive. I live in Germany and have 132Mbps (in reality of course online speed tests give me a speed of about 70Mbps). Why not simply go the way of Kansas City, jump a generation and start installing 1Gbps.
    ***The whole thing is a joke in the UK. My Virgin service is advertised 10Mps but actual is around 1.3. Customer service? A total rip off.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 131.

    sorry... Bradford?? i can understand the rationale for other cities but Bradford does not follow this logic...

  • Comment number 130.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 129.

    Why would anybody need 100mbps? It would have been much better to focus on getting faster speeds to rural or even semi-rural areas. I live 5 miles from towns both with 100k+ population (and both have BT infinity), but my exchange is stuck at max 8mbps with zero plans to improve that. There must be millions more like me!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 128.

    Hmmm so faster speed to get to your (supposedly unlimited !) 60Gb monthly limit.

    Yeah good luck with your bills you lucky peeps.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 127.

    little_alien: if the gov has a problem with work going to France it might want to cancel that £100,000,000s/year government ATOS contract. Too late for energy companies tho, EDF etc being privat.. oh wait.

    Robert Philpot: well, following the Telecommunications Act 1984 it's a commercial decision whether to supply you with adequate connectivity - it's not for government to subsidise... oh wait.

  • rate this
    +37

    Comment number 126.

    Why isn't Liverpool, Glasgow and Nottingham on this list, regularly the three most deprived areas of the country if any city or region needs a push in the right direction for investment in modern industries it's these three.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 125.

    Does this mean everybody will be able to work from home, or will my bin man still have to collect it in a lorry. To much importance is put on this use of technology, and not enough on hands on manufacturing which is needed to get this country back on its feet.Its no good selling on the internet if the product is made abroad and goes straight to the purchaser.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 124.

    100Mbps is not that impressive. I live in Germany and have 132Mbps (in reality of course online speed tests give me a speed of about 70Mbps). Why not simply go the way of Kansas City, jump a generation and start installing 1Gbps.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 123.

    So the saying goes "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" and in Broadband terms "The fast get faster and those without get nothing" when are BT going to be penalised for failing the rest of the country.

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 122.

    I've just checked by broadband speed: download 1.6 Mb/s, upload 0.19 Mb/s. I live in London. I doubt that Osborne's gift of £100,000,000 of tax-payers money to BT will make a blind bit of difference - probably end up as bonuses for the Directors.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 121.

    I thought He was thinking of connecting smart tram's for consumer luggage between one city and the other. Things can fly round quicker with smart use of electricity you know, do you know the times your living in.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 120.

    I live just outside of Manchester city centre, and only get 2.1mbps, which is vastly poor (although many may feel it is good!). BT infinity is way too expensive to even consider. I'll wait n see if My part of Manchester (east) gets any of the new money spent on its broadband infrastructure. before all the cash is eaten up by 3rd party companies syphoning off their cut!

 

Page 6 of 12

 

More Technology stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.