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UK broadband gets budget boost

12 additional UK cities will gain a broadband boost thanks to a £50m fund

Twelve cities in the UK will receive additional funding for superfast broadband following an autumn budget update. UK Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that 12 smaller cities would benefit from a funding pot of £50m, in addition to the 10 cities that were added earlier in the year.

The £50m will be shared out among York, Newport, Aberdeen, Perth, Londonderry, Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Oxford, Portsmouth and Salford. The allocation of the state-aided funds will be subject to European approval. This should be a formality, and the EU recently gave its approval for the government to pump £530m into Broadband UK.

The plan is to create ‘super-connected cities’ with widespread 100Mbit/s broadband available for homes and businesses in a bid to spur economic growth. The news follows the announcement by the Chancellor that economic growth for the UK was predicted to drop by 0.1 per cent.

Also announced was a major £600m for scientific research and tax relief on the video game, and animation industries.

At the Broadband World Forum in October, Eidos life president Ian Livingstone called for greater support for the games industry from government. He also encouraged the broadband industry to keep pushing speeds and reducing latency to enable better gaming experiences and to promote cloud gaming. “We’re fighting broadband,” Livingstone said in Amsterdam to the industry. “You’re holding us back, in many ways.”

The Broadband World Forum is taking place on the 22nd – 24th October 2013 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Click here to pre-register for the event.

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