Local authorities given Feb deadline for broadband plans


Local authorities have until February 2012 to submit draft plans on the roll-out of super-fast broadband in their localities if they want to benefit from the 530 million pot of Government funding.

I will not allow the UK to fall behind in rolling-out superfast broadband.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt set the deadline this week in order to get things moving and ensure local authorities in England can deliver at least 2Mbps connectivity to 90 per cent of businesses and consumers by 2015.

The pressure does not ease once draft plans are submitted. Local authorities must then work with the Government to finalise those plans by the end of April as well as the ability to match any funding like-for-like.

A status report detailing how each local authority is doing will be published early next year. Those that fall short of the deadlines may miss out altogether on the money on offer, the Government has warned.

This is part of wider Government plans to try and build the best broadband network in Europe. It set out its rural broadband roll-out plan in December 2010, with funding announced in August 2011.

"Superfast broadband is fundamental to our future economic success. Businesses need it to grow, the public will need it to access new services," Hunt said.

"Some local authorities will find these to be challenging targets. But I will not allow the UK to fall behind in rolling-out superfast broadband. Superfast broadband is simply too important for creating the growth we need to allow the roll-out to be delayed."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.