George Osborne has revealed a list of 12 more cities set to benefit from government-funded super-fast broadband.
The dozen cities in question are Aberdeen, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Londonderry, Newport, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth, Salford and York.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the news as part of his Autumn Statement, which was delivered earlier today. The service is intended to be fully functional by 2015, delivering speeds of up to 100Mbps to homes and businesses alike.
These twelve “smaller cities” will share funds of £50 million between them, in contrast to the £100 million earmarked for the installation of equivalent services in ten major UK cities, announced last year. The newly-announced spending is subject to European Commission approval.
Meanwhile, commercial telecommunications companies BT and Virgin Media have already started rolling their own enhanced services out, providing urban areas up to 330Mbps and 120Mbps, respectively.
In October, both Virgin Media and BT decided to take legal action against Birmingham City Council, in an attempt to block the creation of a state-funded broadband network that would go into direct competition with their own services.
Osborne has ambitious hopes for the forthcoming super-fast fibre networks, predicting that better use of the Internet by public services could save the country huge amounts.
He said, “If all departments made greater provision of digital services … then a further £1 billion could be saved.”
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