Saturday, 23 October 2010

Licence fee raided for broadband funding

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that £300m of the £530m, which it will cost to fulfil the government's commitment to advance broadband, will come directly from the BBC licence fee, with the remaining £230m funded by underspend in the UK's digital TV switchover fund. This is in addition to BBC's taking responsibility for the World Service and paying for S4C.

According to, "The government wants to encourage public-private partnerships - between local authorities, broadband suppliers and community groups - to bid for chunks of the £530m to help roll-out superfast broadband to areas currently languishing at the bottom of the broadband pile, the DCMS spokesman added.

"The government has announced £530m to help fund broadband rollouts.  Osborne also detailed the locations for four rural superfast broadband trials that will test the commercial viability of deploying high speed broadband in remote parts of the country. '[Superfast broadband] pilots will go ahead in the Highlands and Islands, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Herefordshire,' said Osborne - upping by one the tally of trials from the original three 'market testing pilots' announced back in June."

Why is Wales not involved? The Assembly Government must tell us what its plans for broadband are.

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