More than half of the respondents to a recent ISPreview.co.uk survey support the U.K. government’s plan to spend $131.4 million on improving superfast broadband services in some of the country’s largest cities. However, only 10 percent of those supporters believe that allocation is enough to do the job properly.
And even though nearly $66 million has been added, those polled believe it only will help "smaller cities.”? ?
The Urban Broadband Fund aims to deliver "ultrafast" fiber-optic based 80 Mbps—100 Mbps broadband services to 10 large” super-connected cities" and a further batch of "smaller cities" in the U.K. during the next three years, starting with the main capital cities of Edinburgh (Scotland), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Cardiff (Wales) and London.? ?However, when given a choice of alternative options, some 62 percent of respondents said they’d rather put the $131.4 million toward boosting broadband in poorly served rural areas; only 19 percent said they would spend it on the top cities. A further 11 percent said they would have used the money to help cut the country’s deficit, and 8 percent said they would spend it on something else entirely.? ?
"On this issue, the country initially appears to be split right down the middle," comments ISPreview.co.uk’s founder Mark Jackson. "But, when given a choice, most people still think that the new funding would be better spent upon improving Internet access in poorly served rural areas, as befits the governments original focus."? ?
He continues, "At the same time, we shouldn’t forget that poor broadband connectivity is by no means isolated to rural areas, and many urban locations also suffer from similar problems. But it’s still difficult to understand the government’s decision to intervene in places that the private sector could resolve by itself.”