Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wifi/broadband update

There was considerable interest in my earlier posts about Edinburgh's successful bid to the UK Government's Urban Broadband Fund.    Here is an update which came across my desk recently.
"This briefing provides an update on the recent announcement that Edinburgh will receive between £8m and £11m of capital funding from the government’s Urban Broadband Fund to create a ‘Super Connected City’.

The Council’s outline proposal was submitted in February and detailed delivery plans will be submitted by 2 July following which the exact funding award will be confirmed.  

A programme team has been appointed and will draw on expertise from across the Council in services such as transport, planning, economic development and libraries as well as seeking expert advice on procurement approaches and commercial models.

In feedback to outline proposals, the Council was asked to look at extending the availability of wireless access to a wider area of the city and to aim for ultra fast broadband access for as many of the city's premises as possible. The team is working closely with BT to identify areas of the city which are yet to receive investment.   It is anticipated that with the UK Government funding and through working with BT, Virgin Media and/or other network providers that the majority of households will have access to fibre broadband offering speeds of 80-100Mb/s by 2015.  In terms of the wireless coverage, analysis of the city will be undertaken to identify areas that would most benefit - for example areas of high footfall or activity and the focus will be on delivering economic and social benefits for the city. The exact rollout plans for broadband and wireless across the city will be defined through a procurement process over the next 12 months.

A reference group is being set up to involve organisations and groups from across the city in the programme to ensure that what is delivered is best for the city and its residents and businesses. This group will include representatives from creative, health, education and voluntary sectors, business and community groups."

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