#Public Sector

New £10 million broadband fund announced to connect ultra-rural Britain

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The UK Government has announced a new £10 million fund to be made available to allow for a range of pilot schemes using alternative broadband technologies to be tested across Britain’s most rural areas.

The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, hopes the money will aid alternative technology providers to come up with innovative ideas of delivering superfast broadband to the most remote communities of Britain.

The government programme, which aims at connecting 95 percent of the UK to superfast broadband by 2017, claims that the new fund will focus on reaching the final 5 percent of the most isolated UK communities.

4G mobile signals, fibre connections direct to premises and satellite broadband are among the potential technologies anticipated to be part of the applications.

Miller said: “An estimated 10,000 homes and businesses are gaining access to superfast speeds every week but now we need to focus on the hardest to reach communities”, notes The Telegraph.

“If we want to ensure that all communities can benefit then we need to think imaginatively about alternative technology, and the pilots enabled by the £10m fund will be instrumental in helping us overcome the challenges of reaching the final 5% of premises.”

The fund is expected to open on March 17 and all local authorities are being requested and encouraged to support the pilot projects.

Miller also announced that the former Commercial Director of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Chris Townsend, will be leading the new Broadband Delivery programme.