Sheffield is vying for a share in £100 million-worth of Government funding to enable it to become one of six “super-connected cities,” with broadband access speeds of up to 100 Megabytes a second.
A total of 10 cities – including Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and Birmingham – have reached the final of the bidding process and must now show how they would use the investment to drive growth and attract new businesses.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Transforming communities into super-connected cities will enable them to compete with the world’s top digital cities.
“It will help them attract new jobs and new investment and make the UK a place where digital businesses look to come. It will help our creative industries and hi-tech companies grow while making the UK even more attractive to overseas firms.”
The winners will be announced in the Budget in March, after which BT and Virgin have pledged to strengthen their networks in the winning cities, while the government cash will be used to provide coverage in areas where the companies will not go.
BT regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, John Anderson, said: “BT welcomes Sheffield’s inclusion on the short list for broadband funds.
“BT is already upgrading large parts of the city with fibre broadband and these funds could help us go even further. It is important for the public and private sector to work together if the UK is to have the best possible broadband network and so we look forward to working with the authorities in Sheffield to see what can be achieved.”