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Government commits extra £250m in superfast broadband spend

Kathleen Hall

The government has committed an additional £250m of superfast broadband spend to increase coverage to 95% of the UK by 2017.

The announcement builds on current plans to provide nearly 90% of homes with access to fixed, superfast broadband by 2015.

But the additional broadband funding laid out in the Investing in Britain’s Future plan represent just 0.25% of the total £100bn worth of public investment in infrastructure projects in the five years to 2020.

The document also outlined plans for further investment in clearing high-value spectrum to support the growth in demand for next-generation mobile services and a further auction of 4G spectrum.

The government hopes to reach 99% of the population by working with industry to expand coverage using fixed, wireless and mobile broadband solutions by 2018.

“This is what the UK needs – a strategic, long term plan. It’s a plan to build, repair and renew our key infrastructure,” wrote chancellor George Osborne and chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, in a joint statement.

The document follows Osborne’s spending review that outlined plans to reduce government spending by £11.5bn in 2015-16, with further departmental cuts falling on the Cabinet Office, the Treasury, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.


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