Budget 2012: UK to get 10 'super-connected' broadband cities

broadband cables

Broadband speeds in the UK will become the fastest in the world, Chancellor George Osborne announced in the 2012 Budget.

This will be achieved through a scheme to make 10 major cities across the UK "super-connected" with extra fast broadband speeds thanks to a £100 million government handout.

The chosen cities are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Manchester, Bradford and Newcastle.

An extra £50 million will also be given to improve broadband access in 10 smaller unnamed cities across the country.

What about rural areas?

The idea of "super-connected" cities was first spoken about in the Autumn Statement last year and it's hoped that by 2015 this will be achieved.

Consumer groups have slammed the decision as leaving behind those living in rural areas and creating an urban elite.

"Today's news is cold comfort for those living and working in the outlying rural regions, being left ever further behind in digital poverty," says Dominic Baliszewski, spokesperson for Broadbandchoices.

Julia Stent, spokesperson for uSwitch.com, echoes this sentiment. "The government's chief concern should be the provision of a service to those areas lacking decent broadband infrastructure before pursuing the likes of Korea and Singapore. Bringing an appreciable average speed to those in rural areas who have been forever languishing in the slow lane must be of equal importance," she adds.

Your Comments

If extra fast broadband is such a good idea why doesn't any commercial provider wish to do it? 

What a waste of money - don't we have more things to spend our tax money on such as paying off the decefit considering the innocent tax payers are expected to pay it off rather than those who caused it in the first place (the very people the government won't penalise) the bankers who caused the recession in the first place and a great deal of our decefit!
Why do we need to pay for broadband - surely its up to the companies themselves. Ok it will be faster speeds to connect for businesses, but considering the government are doing nothing to stimulate business growth (they're impeding it and/or not supporting it) and in fact making things worse - we don't need it!

 It is impossible to increase the speed of a broadband signal - all such signals travel at or near to the speed of light!  What ISPs (and Mr Osborne) are really talking about is the Data Transfer Rate (commonly referred to as the Rate) of the broadband service, measured in Mb/s (or, possibly, MB/s?)
By the way, when talking correctly about speed, there are no fast or slow speeds, but high or low ones.