Following the broadband money

BT, Virgin Media front-runners for DCMS’s £100m

with 7 comments

Who will be in line for the government’s £100m urban broadband handout should be known next month when the department of culture media and sport (DCMS) finalises its criteria.

However, residents of the six cities in addition to London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast should be getting broadband at 80-100Mbps before 2015, a DCMS spokesman says.

“It is not possible to say in advance of receiving the plans from each of the cities exactly when this will happen in each city,” he told Br0kenTeleph0ne.

He could not say how many homes and businesses would be served. “However, in supporting this initiative, BT and Virgin Media have committed to strengthening their networks in the winning cities and will be offering their broadband services with 80-100 Mbps potential, rather than 24Mbps,” he said.


DCMS has just confirmed that the £100m is in fact new money for broadband.

“The £100m is not coming from the BDUK fund.  It is money the chancellor has provided specifically for urban broadband and there will be no impact on the speed or scale of rural broadband rollout,” it said.

It added, “The plans that bidding cities develop will need to be compliant with state aid rules.”


Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2011/11/30 at 20:45

Posted in Broadband, Finance, Internet, News

Tagged with , , , ,

7 Responses

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  1. hope the other players get a look in this time… lots of innovators out there waiting for a chance.
    I don’t see why the incumbent should get any money at all after the way they have protected their copper assets throughout the land.

    Chris Conder

    2011/11/30 at 20:51

  2. Err…….. excuse me £100M for URBAN areas already/will be served by BT Infinity/Virgin……….surely this should go to the RURAL THIRD???????????????????????

    Mel Bryan

    2011/12/01 at 12:04

    • Mel, they have probably been indoctrinated by BT’s vital vision. ie the programme they had running to wine and dine policy makers and convince them their solution was right.
      Its time government opened their eyes to the real world and focussed on the vision of a truly digital britain where everyone has access instead of falling for the hype of the telcos.

      Chris Conder

      2011/12/01 at 12:07

  3. So, the money goes to BT/Virgin, who offer no performance guarantees, justification via previous rollout statistics, or in fact evidence of any kind on the ROI for the investment they will receive?

    80-100Mbps smells a lot like VDSL2+, so still we live with BT’s monopoly on the PIA in the ground. Or Virgin’s extensive coverage of the UK territory – ummmm, when did they last dig again?

    I want a piece of that funding action. Only a government that doesn’t know what it’s doing funds projects like this. Or one that is too scared to admit it likes the tax income from the incumbent and doesn’t want to annoy them too much.

    Shocking abuse of public money.


    2011/12/03 at 10:51

    • AFAIK, BT has got permission to double the frequencies in the network, which doubles the VDSL speed. VM is using Docsis 3.0, but you are right, both are essentially fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technologies.

      Ian Grant

      2011/12/03 at 19:12

    • Agree Rob, and to add insult to injury they don’t pay much tax, as they have an enormous debt of a pension deficit which they don’t pay off, they would rather give the money to fat cats and shareholders instead. Also they don’t pay the full VOA tax that other operators have to pay.
      I don’t think government is scared of losing the tax, they are scared of unemployment. The incumbent employs the equivalent of the population of ireland I think.
      What they need is competition.


      2011/12/03 at 19:17

  4. Nothing like finding out some facts before posting…

    Openreach – 19,000 field engineers

    The population of Ireland in 2008 was approximately 6.1 million comprising 4.35 million in the Republic of Ireland with another 1.75 million in Northern Ireland.

    Competition from VM, C&W, TalkTalk, Sky etc…

    Who are the fat cats? Didn’t shareholders buy the shares…


    2011/12/05 at 18:55

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