The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that £100m funding for up to ten super-connected cities, or cybercities as we might call them, was to be made available. “There will be a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises and strategic employment zones to support economic growth.”
Jeremy Hunt the Culture Secretary today announced that in addition to the 4 capital cities “The eight core cities and UK cities that have more than 150,000 dwellings (Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield) are eligible to apply.”
The competition/application details are provided for Local Authorities and the winners will be announced in next years Budget in March 2012.
The applicants we are sure will take account of the Governments stated intention in December 2010 that set out the UK’s ambition to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, which is to be subjected to an Ofcom publication of their Broadband Best in Europe Scorecard in summer 2012 with the four headline indicators: Coverage and take-up, Speed, Price and choice.
On the speed indicator Ofcom state:
“There is currently no reliable data providing comparison of actual broadband speeds (the European Commission is currently undertaking a project with UK company SamKnows, so data should be available in 2012). Comparing headline ‘up to’ speeds has limited meaning, but among the eight EC countries in our report at the end of 2010 the UK had the lowest proportion of consumers with fixed broadband headline speeds of ‘up to’ 2Mbit/s or below (1%), and the fourth highest proportion of consumers with headline speeds of 10Mbit/s and above (45%) – below the Netherlands (57%), France (55%) and Sweden (48%).”
The up to scenario is one we really appreciate although it is probably the widest used description in the marketplace.
If you want to test your speeds try Speedtest (it’s what a well known provider point you at although there are of course many other such services).
Here on a split line we have 2 providers and download speeds vary from 5.5 to 7.2 Mb/s and upload from .35 Mb/s on one to .64Mmb/s on the other. A significant supplier for one of our lines tells us the average is 3.0 – 7.35Mb/s for download speeds and .196Mb/s for upload.
That all seems totally straight forward & I guess we would have difficulty in arguing with the fact that we have been provided with up to 20Mb broadband by one and up to 12Mb download & 1.2Mb upload by the other!
But we still want to be in one of the cybercities!
Image credits Edinburgh skyline image here & on home page by kaputniq on Flickr. Some rights reserved.