BBC licence fee to contribute ?300m

Rural superfast broadband gets ?530m investment

The British coalition government announced a £530m investment in superfast broadband aimed at improving access in regional areas.

Broadband Delivery UK is in charge of the project with the government quango also tasked with ensuring broadband is available to all in the UK by 2012 and fibre-based broadband to more than half by 2017.

The cost of the scheme will be taken from the BBC licence fee over the next 4 years and is expected to benefit up to 2 million homes in the rural Highlands, Cumbria, Herefordshire and Northern Cumbria.

One goal of the roll out is to ensure that all homes have a minimum 2Mbit/s broadband connection sufficient to stream video such as content from the BBC’s own iPlayer. 

The project was at risk of a funding chop like many other public projects but chancellor George Osborne said the rural broadband project would "encourage the growth of our creative industries as a key part of the new economy we are seeking to build."

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