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Rural Broadband: Government Protects Outlay in Spending Review Cuts

country dwelling user of broadband

George Osborne announced in today’s Government Spending Review that the £530m of BBC monies earmarked for rural broadband will not be taken away. Superfast broadband will be trialled in the Highlands, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Herefordshire.

Taken in the light of an £83Bn cut in spending this must be seen as good news. Considering though that the recently announced project in Cornwall cost £132m this suggests that these four areas could well consume the whole amount.

Please don’t get me wrong here. The government is saying the right things to some extent but clearly we are going to have to be very creative with how we roll out connectivity to the “final third”.

It does annoy me that there is still a lot of spin in what is being said about “superfast broadband”.  Last week at the Parliament and Internet Conference I challenged minister Ed Vaizey about the government’s ambitions “to ensure this country has the best superfast broadband in Europe by the end of this parliament (2015).”

This is particularly relevant in the light of the fact that in Finland everyone will have 100Mbps in the same timeframe. Mr Vaizey sidestepped the question and said that they were still toying with a definition for “superfast broadband”.

Why can’t we just be straight with everyone? We are more likely to get everyone to pitch in and help each other if we are.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

8 replies on “Rural Broadband: Government Protects Outlay in Spending Review Cuts”

How was 100Mb calculated as the NGA figure?

If there is a fixed amount of money available is it better spent in the final third on FTTP for eg. 1m or on FTTC for eg. 3m?

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