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York, Oxford, Cambridge and others up for a slice of £50m Urban Broadband Fund

York, Oxford and Cambridge are on a list of 12 UK cities that can apply for cash to invest in better broadband from the Urban Broadband Fund (UBF).

The UBF was set up by the Government as part of a wider drive to get the UK’s broadband infrastructure sufficiently upgraded in order to meet the lofty target of superfast broadband (24Mbps and above) to 90 per cent of residents by 2015.

DCMS (Departure of Culture, Media and Studies) expects that cities on the list will begin procurement this Summer, after local authorities select a company to do the work.

York, Oxford, Cambridge and others up for slice of £50m Urban Broadband Fund
WiFi… coming soon to a lamppost near you.

Read more about the Urban Broadband Fund in Recombu Digital’s report on Fibre Broadband and BDUK

UK cities on the UBF’s second list are as follows:

  •     Aberdeen
  •     Brighton & Hove
  •     Cambridge
  •     Coventry
  •     Derby
  •     Derry/Londonderry
  •     Newport
  •     Oxford
  •     Perth
  •     Portsmouth
  •     Salford
  •     York

The Urban Broadband Fund has already paid out over £100 million of funding to the UK’s constituent capital cities, as well as six other ‘core’ cities, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.

The main aim of the UBF is for cities to accelerate the rollout of superfast broadband speeds. This will be achieved by using the money to build infrastructure to plug remaining areas where broadband is unavailable and by way of ‘Connection Vouchers’ – subsidies for small businesses and residents where installation charges for new connections would be prohibitive.

There’s also a secondary aim to “deliver improved connectivity in city authorities through use of radio concessions for city authority assets,” which in layman’s terms translates as installing things such as mobile signal boosters and WiFi points in existing structures like lampposts.

All applications for UBF money from these cities will need to be submitted by March 15, 2013.