We presume the politicians hope that by keep repeating the same investment news for broadband over and over that we will get the idea that the current Government is doing a lot. The 39 local growth deals announced in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) read great with what looks like extra investment in areas, but invariably the broadband investment is stuff that is already underway, and adding another body to the complex broadband area may do little to change plans apart from keeping a few more local officials busy.
"To support extension of superfast broadband coverage to 90% of UK premises by 2016, via existing broadband projects, Cumbria LEP will commit to work with local partners and BT to support delivery. To support extension of superfast broadband coverage to 95% of UK premises by 2017, Cumbria LEP will also work with local partners to help ensure match funding is in place for the next round of projects."Broadband extract from Cumbria Growth Plan
The extract (well all that talks of broadband) from the Cumbria plan above is almost word for word in a good number of other plans. We did spot that in the South East the LEP there is committing to £300,000 for NGA broadband for Colchester Business Parks along with £200,000 from the central coffers for 2015/2015. What NGA broadband means is any ones guess because for someone who has no or slow broadband it means any broadband, for someone who has access to a slow FTTC service at 10 Mbps it could mean an upgrade to full FTTP.
If you live in London and have been bypassed by the commercial roll-outs to date, then alas no broadband news at all in the growth plan. London is already very well served for broadband but the voices from the disparate islands of slow speeds are becoming increasingly annoyed at the lack of action by the Mayor of London and commercial operators.