Milton Keynes provides reminder that final third is not just rural
With the very vocal rural population and subsequent press coverage, it is easy to assume the the £530m BDUK project is aimed at rural communities, but a good many of the areas that will benefit from the project will actually be urban areas (around 80% of the UK live in an urban setting).
Milton Keynes has featured regularly in broadband news, having suffered a myriad of experiments over the years, and now has some areas with full fibre (100 Mbps+), and others with partial fibre (up to 80 Mbps). Bill Murphy from BT talking at the Next Gen Roadshow indicated that once BT finishes its commercial roll-out there will still be not-spots in Milton Keynes with respect to superfast broadband. These areas should therefore benefit from the ongoing BDUK project, that Milton Keynes Council working with Beds Borough and Central Beds Council are working towards. A simple matrix outlining council goals until 2017 can be found here.
With current goal of 90% of the UK having access to superfast broadband by 2015, and the remaining 10% getting 2 Mbps or faster, it is worth considering the fact, that this final 10% represents almost half of the rural households and businesses in the UK. It is likely that EU funding that should be more widely available from 2015, and a potential further £300m from the UK Government (very dependent on next General Election result) will go on projects between 2015 and 2020, to further upgrade the final 10% and bring their broadband speeds closer to that of the cities.