Counties in England are set to get £294.8m, and Scotland £68.8m, in a move that has significant implications for the film industry.
DCMS Secretary Jeremy Hunt today announced that the UK government is committing £363m to taking broadband to hard-to-reach homes and businesses in England and Scotland.
Counties in England are set to get £294.8m, and Scotland £68.8m.
The commitment is part of £530m the Government has pledged to UK broadband improvement by 2015. It aims for 90% of homes and businesses to have access to superfast broadband and for everyone in the UK to have access to at least 2Mbps.
Hunt said: “I am absolutely determined that the UK will have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015 – one that we all benefit from. Fast broadband is absolutely vital to our economic growth, to delivering public services effectively, and to conducting our everyday lives.
“But some areas of the UK are missing out, with many rural and hard-to-reach communities suffering painfully slow internet connections or no coverage at all. We are not prepared to let some parts of our country get left behind in the digital age.
“The Government is investing £530 million of public money to help bring broadband to every home and business in the UK. We are doing our part – it is now up to local authorities and the Scottish Government to do their bit, to get on board and work with us to secure the social and economic future of their communities.
“I urge all those suffering the frustration of slow internet connections to make it clear to your local elected representatives that you expect them to do what is needed to access this investment and to deliver broadband to your community.”
The private sector on its own will take superfast broadband to around two-thirds of UK households and businesses. The funding announced today will be used to help take broadband to the remaining third.
Funds have been allocated to all English regions except to Greater London (where the market is expected to deliver) and to South Yorkshire and Cornwall (where the Regional Development Agency is already investing public money).
The upgrade is a mixed bag for the film industry, with improved broadband connection in theory leading to better, quicker and more popular film VOD services, but also potentially acting as an incentive for illegal downloaders.