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December 7, 2010

Government plans digital hub in every community

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by Darren Allan

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has published Britain’s Super-fast Broadband Future report, in which the government lays out its plans to get broadband motoring in this country by 2015.

The proposals contained within the document include the placing of a digital hub within reach of every community in the UK by the end of the current Parliament. The government will subsidise the roll out of super-fast broadband to rural communities, or the “final third” as they’re known, the last 30% of the UK where BT and Virgin won’t be reaching with their own high-speed fibre programs because these areas aren’t profitable enough to develop.

£830 million has been set aside in funding, although some critics say this still isn’t going to be enough. £50 million will be invested in a “second wave of projects” to test how the digital hub concept will best be delivered.

Said hubs will act as central digital nodes in each community, providing super-fast connections to the nearest exchange.

Hunt said: “A super-fast network will be the foundation for a new economic dynamism, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and adding billions to our GDP.”

“But it is not just about the economy, around the world there are countless examples of super-fast broadband helping to build a fairer and more prosperous society, and to transform the relationship between government and citizens. And shifting government services online will save billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”

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