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UK Government announces second round of super-connected cities

The second round of candidates to become ‘super-connected’ cities in the UK have been announced by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. 27 UK cities have been shortlisted for the second round of bidding for £50 million of next gen broadband funding.

The super-connected candidate cities are:

Aberdeen, Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Exeter, Gloucester, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Londonderry / Derry, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Perth, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Wolverhampton and York.

Eligibility criteria states that cities must have more than 45,000 homes and businesses, or more than 35,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland, and the money must be used for areas not served by BT or Virgin Media.

Representatives of the candidate cities will need to put forward proposals as to why they should get a slice of the £50 million pie.

Detailed guidance on exactly how candidates can bid will be published on the 18th of May. The winning cities will be announced in the Government’s Autumn Statement later this year.

Previously, cash for cable had been earmarked for Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle as well as the UK’s four national capitals.

No word from the DCMS on how many cities will be doled out a portion of the £50 million pot; it can’t be that many as we really can’t see the cash stretching that far.