The additional £50m of funding announced in the last budget to try and create super connected cities is driving another wave of demand registration schemes.
Londonderry who famously was the first (and may still be the only city) to have all its BT street cabinets offering a FTTC service, is now looking to canvas support to back its entry for some of the Super-Connected City Plan funding. Alas some of the local press coverage may have confused the public, as they talk of demand for broadband and super fast broadband.
Londonderry has the superfast broadband sewn up, as the FTTC roll-out and presence of Virgin Media ensures this. The governments definition of ultra fast is actually 80 Mbps to 100 Mbps, and on that basis it could even be suggested that with Virgin Media in the city that the majority already have an ultra fast option, and even more so once Fibre on Demand appears in 2013.
The above comments actually apply to most cities, and thus raise the question, what is the £50m fund really for? Well from the plans that we have seen from the ten larger cities, many are linking the spending to urban regeneration schemes, to install dark-fibre access in specific areas of the city.
The www.derrycity.gov.uk/superconnectedderry site clearly talks of 80 to 100 Mbps speed, which is a shame, as with Gigabit services available commercially in parts of the UK, spending money to target slower speeds seems to suggest a lack of vision.