The £250 million extra funding by the government for superfast broadband in rural areas has finally been divvied up between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The extra £250m which was announced by the government last year is on top of the £1.2 billion already to be given out by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project which was set up to fund the roll out of superfast broadband to more rural areas that the likes of BT & Virgin Media themselves wouldn’t roll out too on their own because of it not being financially viable to do so.
The £250m is to be split up as follows:
- England £184.34m
- Scotland £20.99m
- Wales £12.11m
- Northern Ireland £7.24m
The extra funding is being spent to help make sure that the government meets their target of reaching 95% of UK homes with superfast broadband by 2017. Superfast broadband is classed as broadband that works at 24Mb or above. A further fund of £10m has also been set up to look at connecting the final 5% with other technologies that the standard fibre optic network isn’t suitable for. This fund is due to open on the 17th March 2014 for any potential technologies that can be piloted via this scheme.
Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary said:
“Superfast broadband will benefit everyone whether they need it at work or to do to homework or simply to download music or films, thousands of homes and businesses now have access and it’s helping people with everyday tasks. We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband and with this extra £250m that we are investing we will help ensure communities around the UK aren’t left behind in a digital slow lane.”
In previous reports and studies the government believe that for every £1 invested in the BDUK scheme that £20 will be delivered back to the UK economy by 2014. Along with this there is also expected to be many tens of thousands of new jobs created because of this in rural areas.
Newcastle is to become one of the first super-connected cities in the UK with the benefits to the area’s economy set to be boosted by £150m by becoming so.
Newcastle City Council are to use government money to help with their Go Digital Newcastle scheme that will aim to have 97% of the city able to access superfast fibre optic broadband by Summer 2015.
Around £9 million of public funds are to be used, with BT investing £1.89m, the Council investing £970,000 plus £970,000 from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). Other funds come from the Governments Super Connected Cities Programme.
Along with the availability of superfast broadband, there will also be free wi-fi provided in the city centre and also on the Metro, also businesses can claim vouchers worth up to £3,000 to help them get connected too.
For more details about the scheme, visit www.godigitalnewcastle.co.uk
Go Ape, the tree top adventure company has had to shell out £30,000 to bring superfast fibre optic broadband to their new offices.
The company has moved to the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds which is close to its original base, however due to the fact that the network infrastructure in that area was out-dated it means that they had to invest £30,000 into bringing faster broadband to the offices, which their boss says will help create 100 jobs this year.
Mr Mayhew, the Go Ape boss also feared that rural locations may lose out on new jobs with fast growing companies moving into cities where they can have faster internet connections already there ready for them, rather than keeping in their rural locations where extra investment, such as what Go Ape have had to do, will be required.
“It is an incredible frustration and it really holds back the rural economy. It funnels all the job creation into Cambridge and Norwich, jobs that would otherwise be spread more evenly.”
Go Ape managed to get the faster broadband for £30,000, this is substantially lower than the £105,000 that they were quoted from one broadband provider.
BT Broadband are bringing back their popular high value Sainsbury’s gift cards for new BT Broadband customers starting from today.
The offer is only eligible to new BT Broadband customers and does not include any existing customers who are re-grading from copper to copper or copper to fibre.
The existing offer of a £25 Sainsbury’s gift card for new BT Broadband customers is to be doubled to £50 and the current £50 Sainsbury’s gift card for new BT Infinity (fibre optic broadband) customers is also to double to £100.
The offer is to run from today 7th February until Monday 17th February.
Also not to be forgotten is that BT Broadband customers also receive the BT Sports channels on TV for free.