Manchester has outlined a bid for some £12 million of government funding, to help make the city a super connected city. With the £100m fund being split ten ways, any authority asking for more than a tenth will have to have a very good plan to justify another city getting less.
The Manchester plan talks of ultrafast broadband, which seems to be the new phrase for describing services of 100 Mbps or faster. The aim is to make this sort of service available to some 235,000 premises across the city by 2014/2015. In addition high speed wireless connectivity in key public areas and along transport corridors.
The project is also planning to address not-spots and slow-spots around the city, and improve take-up of broadband and digital services in the more deprived areas such as Wythenshawe and East Manchester.
As with the BDUK projects cities are expected to match fund what they receive from central funding, as well as commercial operators contributing their share. The ambition to get Manchester into the top 20 digital cities around the World is ambitious as EU funding is going to help boost most EU cities - including those in the UK.