U.K. government allocates $1.6 billion for broadband

The British government has high hopes to expand broadband to more customers outside of the major cities, and to prove it has created a $1.6 billion next-gen broadband fund. 

Designed to pump funds into the Labour party's Digital Britain initiative, the U.K. government plans to get the money by imposing a $9.80 tax on all residential fixed voice lines. However, the plan is far from a done deal. If the opposition Conservative party wins the upcoming election it will immediately shut down the program.

Potential participants have 12 weeks to respond to a "consultation process" on how the money should be spent before the U.K. government holds its general election in May.

But as a LightReading Europe article points out, the obvious flaw in Britain's broadband plan is that the funds won't be able to reach every part of the country. Instead, the funds will "support Digital Britain's aim to roll out next generation networks to at least 90 percent of the U.K. by 2017." Similarly, Insight Research pointed out in a recent report that the Obama administration's Broadband Stimulus program won't be enough to properly close  U.S.' broadband availability gap.

For more:
- Reuters has this article
- Light Reading Europe has this analysis

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