Unveiling the plans, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt says super-fast broadband will be the basis of economic growth and was necessary for the delivery of public services.
The Government wants the UK to have Europe’s best broadband network. This will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and add billions to GDP, according to Hunt.
It has earmarked £50m of the £830m to pay for trials in more isolated, rural areas to see how it can ensure super-fast fibre-optic broadband reaches these communities in the timescale. A portion of the funds will come from the BBC licence fee.
The private sector will deliver broadband to two-thirds of the UK, while rural areas will receive public funds to build a digital hub with a fibre-optic internet connection.
The upgrade to fibre is expected to facilitate IPSs offering packages with speeds of up to 100Mbps.
Communities and local operators will be expected to take on the responsibility for extending the network to individual homes.
A recent study by the regulator Ofcom revealed that less than 1% of UK homes have a super-fast broadband connection of at least 24Mbps.
In July, the Government’s digital champion Martha Lane-Fox drafted digital firms to help deliver government objectives of providing web access for the 10m who aren’t online. More than 430 firms and charities, including ITV, the Post Office, the Internet Advertising Bureau, Google, Charity Technology Trust, Sainsbury’s, Media Trust and Microsoft, signed as partners in a drive to create a fully networked UK.
The Digital Economy Bill, passed in April before the Conservatives came to power in May, made provisions for the UK’s communications infrastructure, public service broadcasting, copyright licensing and online infringement of copyright, as well as security and safety online and in video games.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk