Manchester Corridor set for 100Mbps broadband

Broadband infrastructure

Manchester is set to get 100Mbps broadband access thanks to support at a local level.

Rather than waiting for the big guns like BT and Virgin Media to extend their next generation broadband infrastructure, the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) has put up 1 million of its own money to fund a system installed by UK fibre specialists Geo.

Damien Bourke, policy and partnership manager for NWDA, said in a statement: "This is the first step on a journey to help make Manchester an increasingly competitive international city a city in which businesses can find new and sustainable markets which in turn will help drive the regional economy."

The project will see the Oxford Road area of the city known as the Corridor better connected, initially benefiting 500 businesses and 1,000 homes. Future extensions to the east of Manchester and along the Metrolink line are already planned.

The project is being managed by Corridor Manchester and the Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA).

Jackie Potter, chief executive of Corridor Manchester, said in a statement: "The installation of the new fibre optic cables will create a new infrastructure on the Corridor that will not only deliver much faster broadband speeds but through the open access network allow organisations, businesses and even individuals develop and test their own ideas for uses of the new technology without being held back by current limitations."

Users of the network will be able to buy services from ISPs of their choice, as the organisers are keen to keep it as an open network.

Work on the infrastructure is expected to start in the spring.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.