Spending cuts: What will it mean for broadband?

But for all of the private sector investment, there has been consensus that it needs to be a partnership between both companies and the Government to ensure every individual and company across the UK can get online.

There was a sigh of relief in the tech industry when Osborne didn't say no to investment. He confirmed the coalition would pledge 530 million over the next four years to spread nest generation broadband across the UK.

However, there was a twist when Osborne revealed the BBC was on board to put up some of the funds, ensuring trials of broadband in remote locations across the Highlands and Islands, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Herefordshire would go ahead.

The industry reaction

John Heritage, marketing manager at Powernet one of the UK's oldest ISPs said it was an interesting move to bring in the BBC but there was a danger it was just playing into the hands of the bigger providers.

"You don't need a crystal ball to realise BT would lay fibre first in places of greatest convenience and greatest profit to itself," he said. "This creates the possibility of a two-tiered system, which is clearly lamentable for consumers and businesses alike."

"The question that now needs to be asked is how the BBC will handle this new scheme. Will they simply hand the cash over to BT and fuel the continued neglect or will another cook be added to this confusing infrastructural mess?" he added.

Mansel Healy, UK managing director of ADC UK, said the investment pledge was a move in the right direction but the Government needed to look into the cost for companies to reach these areas.

"This money also needs to be spent wisely on a future proof network infrastructure with affordable running costs," he said.

"The Government's role is to support operators such as BT, Virgin Media and others to deliver their superfast' broadband rollout plans in dense areas, whilst helping to plug the gap' in harder to reach locations where infrastructure investments can cost much more per connection."

He added: "In order to achieve this, the UK government needs to offer a fair and favourable environment for private investment in network infrastructures, not just by supporting the capital build stage, but by helping to minimise operating costs once the networks are up and running."

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.