Friday 1 June 2012

Leeds to get 80-plus Mbp broadband

Leeds is to get extra cash to ensure it has the best broadband infrastructure in the country under the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme.

BDUK’s main goals are to give all users in the UK satisfactory broadband connections of at least 2Mbps and to bring next-generation broadband technology to at least 90 per cent of users by 2015.

The BDUK project comes with allocated funding that is to be distributed to local councils and county governing bodies so that they can implement their own respective broadband plans.

Successful cities will get funding to provide users with fibre broadband connections that provide speeds in the range of 80-100Mbps. In Yorkshire they include Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield.

The government has also named 27 cities that have been shortlisted to receive funding for their projects which includes York.

In a statement, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "These ultra-fast speeds will allow more cities in the UK to compete with the fastest in the world, bringing new opportunities for growth, the development of high-tech industries and the transformation of public services."

Elsewhere, a new project between BT and Leeds City Council aims to help more residents access the internet.

BT and Leeds City Council (LCC) are partnering on a three-year project to bring the benefits of broadband to people who have never been online.

The Get IT Together initiative, which is part-funded by the two organisations and delivered by the charity Citizens Online, aims to make participants more confident about using computers and accessing the internet.

As a Race Online 2012 (RO2012) member, BT has pledged to help get another 100,000 adults to use the web for the first time by the end of the year.

According to the RO2012 campaign, 1.9 million UK citizens have gained the ability to access the internet since 2009, but 8.1 million people have still never used the technology.

LCC chief executive Tom Riordan added: "In the fast-moving digital world it is important that people are not left behind and that all have the opportunity to reap the benefits of being online."

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