UK cities divide up fast broadband cash

Houses of Parliament Londoners should benefit from promised "super-fast" download speeds

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The government has announced how it will share the money promised to 10 UK cities to allow them to create superfast broadband networks.

London gets the largest share of the £114m pot with £25m, followed by Leeds and Bradford, which will divide £14.4m.

The money will be used to build city-wide networks, offering homes and businesses speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second).

The government wants to make the UK the fastest place in Europe by 2015.

A further £50m is to be awarded to ten smaller cities.


  • London - £25m
  • Leeds and Bradford - £14.4m
  • Belfast - £13.7m
  • Manchester - £12m
  • Bristol - £11.3m
  • Cardiff - £11m
  • Edinburgh - £10.7m
  • Birmingham - £10m
  • Newcastle - £6m
Digital leaders

New culture secretary Maria Miller promised last week to cut the red tape associated with broadband rollouts.

She hopes that the city networks can be built soon.

"These 10 cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost," she said.

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," she added.

However, the Labour Party accused the minister of spin.

"This government is disguising its failure to roll out universal broadband by making yet another re-announcement about the superconnected cities programme," said the Shadow Minister for Media and Telecoms, Helen Goodman.

"It is also unlikely that the government will meet its target of rolling out super-fast broadband to 90% of premises by 2015."

Alongside the government money, each city is expected to invest some of its own funds in the broadband projects.

The 10 cities' plans are expected to bring superfast broadband access (offering speeds between 80 and 100 megabits per second) to around an extra 230,000 residential and 55,000 business premises as well as high speed wireless to even more.

All the networks are due to be completed by 2015.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    I’m amazed that this money is not being awarded to companies like Rutland Telecom, who have championed broadband for rural communities. They champion FTTC and use the existing BT local copper network.
    Yet another government decision that doesn’t make any real sense?

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    I do wonder if part of the allocation process involved looking at the voting pattern in the applicant Cities. The North East and other deprived areas have taken a big hit with austerity measures as the Tories have nothing to lose( as an example spend per head on transport infrastructure £5 in the North East compared to £2000 London/South East).

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    I run a business in an urban area and businesses that rely on fast connectivity can already access super fast broadband by choosing a leased line or cable connectivity. The investment would be much better in bringing better broadband speeds to rural and suburban areas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    it's good that belfast gets something.
    though the money seems like a damp squib since bt have already dropped infinity here and EE (orange t-mobile) will be expected to drop in the celular network. so which of our councillors at stormont will be getting 'the big cheque'? that's where the cash will end up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    @125 Timmynorfolk: Always giving London the biggest investment just widens the divide between them and the rest of the country (Olympics, channel tunnel, high speed rail, Crossrail, Thameslink, underground, etc).

    And if we are giving most to the biggest cities, why were Glasgow, Liverpool and Sheffield excluded, while much smaller towns and cities were not?

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    all big citys again not in the struggling towns or rural areas what a joke our government is all our money goes to london as per usual about time the forgotten areas of this country got some decent broadband.

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    I think if you are going to be such an expensive country to do business in, especially large businesses, then we need to provide a high service to match the cost. We provide many excellent services and opportunities but the network infrastructure up until about 12mo ago was almost entirely based on 1800's tech. We need this to provide excellence for businesses, who will provide us with tax money!

  • Comment number 148.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    One day, the UK public will wake up to the Thatcherite lies about privatisation. There is no 'competetion'; in nearly all cases one company has a monopoly (buses, trains, water), meaning they can increase charges at will, as people have no choice but to pay through the nose for a substandard service. We are the laughing stock of Europe.

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    In certain parts of Bromley - an outer London borough, we don't even have the cables that allow us to access fast broadband. But since we live in 'nice' areas, no chance. This money will be used for the indigent peasants 'with needs' first. We have no infrastructure and by law cannot have satellite dishes. Who's deprived now?

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    Money should have been spent on 512KB/s mandatory, free fixed line Internet for access to,,, etc. E-government without e-people is missing the point.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    WARRINGTON CHESHIRE biggest town in cheshire 1.8 mbps and falling i started at 3.6 and its a brand new house boggles the mind how new builds are not getting fiber-optic seems redundant to give us solar panels and echo house tech and then copper wire.

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    "People who criticise excluding rural areas...should stop and think about the relative cost per customer ... in cities versus rural areas."

    We are, that's why businesses can do it in cities but not in rural areas. That's exactly why rural areas/businesses need this subsidy more than the cities. That's why Virgin, BT Sky etc already offer superfast connections in many cities.

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    I can't get 3G either and I'm less than 10 miles from a city. My telephone exchange is counted as rural even though it is even closer to the city than I am (by about 2 miles). It is considered too expansive to put in cable for this area even though it is large for a village and plans are for it to get even larger.

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    Yet again the rest of the country has to subsidise London. Having worked in Telecomms for over 30 years I can tell you if you live in the sticks forget it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    Many video and advert laden web sites are painfully slow, but it’s not down to network line speeds. Do we really need more bandwidth just to get more superfluous junk on what could be much simpler web page designs? 3G /App versions of web sites often seem faster because the junk is stripped out. So is more bandwidth really the answer ….if so, what was the question.?

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    I can't even get 2MBs even though we are close to a city. Yet these cities are to get mega fast broadband when they have already a connection that will allow their kids to all do their homework without having to take turns to do it because they need to use the Internet- we can't do that as there's not enough Internet to go round.

  • rate this

    Comment number 138.

    Why is the Government going out of its way to make the digital divide larger? Cities are one of the places where it is commercially viable for companies to improve the infrastructure themselves. What about rural businesses (again)? What about rural population who have seen Post Offices and other services removed.... are they now to loose out again?

    (Mr < 0.03Mbps last week)

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    @129 Geoff Berry: Unfortunately Glasgow is not amongst the 10 "smaller cities" either. It was originally in the running for the "larger" cities funding but was excluded for what appear to be highly dubious reasons. We won't get a cent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    I live 6 miles from Bradford, 17miles from Leeds yet only get 1.5mbps! By no stretch to I consider myself how about sorting out the network for others first!


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