The UK’s first Super-Connected Cities have been revealed by Chancellor George Osborne in today’s budget.
Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds & Bradford, Newcastle and Manchester along with the four UK capital cities have all successfully bid to become Super-Connected Cities with ultrafast fixed broadband access, and large areas of public wireless connectivity. We define ultrafast broadband as having a minimum download speed of at least 80Mbps.
The 10 cities will share £100 million to help deliver ambitious plans to use super-connected status to drive growth, attract new businesses and transform the way services are provided and accessed.
And the Chancellor has announced that a new £50 million fund will be created to bring ultra-fast broadband to even more UK cities.
Together the 10 proposals involve providing ultrafast broadband access to around 1.7 million premises and 200,000 businesses by 2015 while almost 3 million residents would have access to a wireless network.
Mr Osborne said:
“These bids have the potential to create in the UK ten of the best cities in the world for broadband connectivity.”
Super-Connected Cities funding breakdown
The 10 winners have each been told the minimum they are set to receive, as well as the maximum funding that could be available for their city.
The final amount they will receive will depend on more detailed plans, which each city must submit by July.
We will then confirm exactly how much they will receive from the £100 million fund. The range of possible awards is set out in the table below:
||Maximum possible award
|Leeds and Bradford (joint proposal)
The Chancellor also provided more details on the mobile element of the Government’s £780 million investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure.
The Government is working to ensure businesses have the infrastructure they need to grow, and digital is now a fundamental part of doing business.
The £150 million mobile infrastructure project will be targeted at areas with no mobile coverage.
Thanks to the Government’s investment, mobile phone coverage will be extended to a further 60,000 of the UK’s homes and businesses, with premises coverage over 99.9%.
Coverage along major roads will also be extended with an initial 10 priority roads identified. These 10 roads alone are used by around 100,000 travellers every day.