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£50m Earmarked For UK Superfast Broadband Plans

An additional £50 million will be made available to local authorities across the United Kingdom as the current government steps up its effort to kickstart the roll out of so-called super-fast broadband services in the country.

The BBC underlines the fact that no firms or technologies have been chosen yet for trial tests that were scheduled to show in practice how faster broadband would be delivered to remote regions.

Announcing the decision, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said that "This is very much a locally-driven process and we encourage bids from all local people with plans for improving broadband in their local area".

The drive comes as the government wants to make the UK, one of the European countries with the fastest internet access by 2015 which means that 50mbps speeds will have to become the norm within four years.

In total, around £830 million have been allocated last year by the Culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and will be primarily aimed at helping around 800,000 households get next-generation broadband, a small but significant chunk of the market that are not viewed as economically viable to private companies like BT or Virgin Media.

Local Public Authorities like councils will need to apply to the Government body (the Broadband Delivery UK) tasked with delivering the fund; the BDUK will then assess whether the LPAs qualify for the funding.

BT has already said that it will match all the monies it receives from the fund with its own; back in May 2010, BT said that it would sink an additional one billion in fiber optic technology, bringing its total investment in super fast broadband) to more than £2.5 billion.