UK Government pays £363m for rural broadband

Written by Harry Butler

August 17, 2011 // 12:53 p.m.

Tags: #british-broadband #broadband #cost #cumbria #devon #funding #gloucestershire #government #rural-broadband #somerset

The Government has announced the allocation of £363 million of its £530m broadband warchest, with funds handed out to local councils for the improvement of broadband coverage.

Unsurprisingly, rural areas such as Cumbira, Devon and Somerset - where much of the population is widely distributed - top the list for funding, with urban areas such as London left out due to existing high quality networks provided by the private sector. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already received their funding.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said 'I urge all those suffering the frustration of slow internet connections to make it clear to your local elected representatives that you expect them to do what is needed to access this investment and to deliver broadband to your community.'

The funding is part of the government's scheme to ensure that by 2015, 90 per cent of UK home and businesses are able to access super fast (24Mb/sec and upward) broadband, with every household able to access a broadband connection of at least 2Mb/sec.

While the investment is sure to see connection speed increase, we can't help but feel that local councils are perhaps not the best equipped to decide on the future of Britain's broadband networks. The decision to allocate funds in this way could result in numerous competing standards and methods to deliver connections, rather than a unified nationwide investment.

There's a full list of the broadband funding for English councils to look through (PDF alert).

Live in the countryside and looking forward to faster broadband? Or dreading the infrastructure upheaval? Either way, let us know in the forum.

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