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Government Expected to Plough More Cash into UK Superfast Broadband Rollout

Posted: 28th Nov, 2011 By: MarkJ
UK DCMS internet copyright2015_2mbps_sign.gifThe government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office has today been widely tipped to receive a significant cash boost when the Chancellor, George Osborne, announces an extra £5bn of capital investment for his £30bn National Infrastructure Programme (NIP) tomorrow.

At present BDUK has already set aside £530m until 2015 to help 90% of people access superfast broadband (24Mbps+) ISP services; the remaining 10% will have to make do with download speeds of at least 2Mbps.

On top of that it's long been known that BDUK's budget could rise to £830m by 2017, with the extra £300m being extracted from the BBC's TV Licence Fee (i.e. the 3.5% Digital Switchover Budget). But that figure could be about to rise.

Reports from accross the media suggest that Osborne's NIP, which intends to extract the extra money by re-allocating funds from the first round of spending cuts and British pensions, will focus on three key areas; transport (roads etc.), education and broadband.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, told the BBC:

"We have signed an agreement with the big pension funds that will see them investing British savings in British infrastructure, building an economy based now on savings and investment rather than on debt."

The money is expected to be spent over the next three years, which strongly suggests that any new funding for broadband would be applied in the current parliament (i.e. until 2015) and not the next. We will of course be covering tomorrow's announcement and hope to bring you all the bullet points as and when they happen.

The move would no doubt be welcomed by Fujitsu and other BT rivals, not to mention BT itself of course, which have all recently been calling for a greater allocation of money in order to help improve the national broadband infrastructure.

At present Fujitsu's project (here), which aims to connect 5 Million rural homes to a superfast fibre optic network, requires more public money (about £500m to help its £2bn scheme get started) than is likely to be available for any one provider.
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