The UK government has announced the county-by-county breakdown of its investment in UK’s broadband network.
The government committed to investing a total of £530 million, called the “digital Britain” fund, to ensure that 90 per cent of people in hard-to-reach homes and businesses having access to superfast broadband and for everyone in the UK to have access to at least 2Mbps.
Wales (£56.9m) and Northern Ireland (£4.4m) have already been allocated their share of the pot and Culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt today announced the breakdown of the £362m which England and Scotland will get.
English counties are set to receive £294m while Scotland will get £68.8m. Hunt also announced the breakdown of the allocation to the various counties in England with some getting a lot more than others dependent on the percentage of so-called “notspots” within the county.
Cumbria will be the county getting the most money (£17m) to try and connect the 96 per cent notspots to fast broadband. In contrast London will receive no money as the government believes private investment should ensure everyone in the capital has access to fast broadband speeds.
Announcing the allocation of the money, Hunt said: “Fast broadband is absolutely vital to our economic growth, to delivering public services effectively, and to conducting our everyday lives. But some areas of the UK are missing out, with many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffering painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all. We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age.”
The funding is aimed at getting super fast broadband to the one third of households the government believes won’t be services by private companies. The investment is part of the government's lofty aim to create the "best superfast broadband network in Europe" by 2015. The culture secretary urged those “suffering the frustration of slow internet connections” to tell their local representatives that they expect to get access to the fund.