Chancellor extends broadband funding

Picture of cablesSo, remember how when the coalition Government came in they scrapped the so-called "broadband tax" which was going to attach to every phone bill to subsidise rural broadband? Private finance would make the money up, they said. Well, suddenly George Osborne has found £100m to boos broadband coverage in a number of areas.
Government money. Not private. From our taxes. Nobody say "told you so", it would be unnecessarily cruel.

Joint effort

That said, there have certainly been moves towards more private money in our broadband infrastructure. In April this year Fujitsu announced its plan to build broadband pathways for rural areas, bringing them into line with the sort of communications a region will need to function in the early part of the 21st century.

So it wouldn't be fair to dismiss the Government's efforts completely. Even so, having to find an extra £100m must feel pretty humiliating after promising this stuff wouldn't come out of the public purse (for what it's worth, as a tax payer I'm quite content that our infrastructure should come out of funds to which I'm contributing).

It might be a surprise to some readers, though, to note that this money isn't going to be for rural areas but for London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. It appears that while the critics of the lack of coverage for rural areas have been vocal, our capitals have been falling behind the rest of the world in terms of what we can offer. So this new money is going to be about boosting our core infrastructure and making our capitals more appealing places to do business.
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