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Government confirms 10 "super-connected" cities for 2012

Superfast broadband

The Government has confirmed plans to create 10 "super-connected" cities in 2012.

Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle have been chosen as the 10 hubs for broadband investment.

As part of a £100 million investment, "ultrafast broadband" will be made available to 1.7 million households and 200,000 businesses.

These "high growth areas" will also see 3 million residents enjoy high-speed wireless broadband.

Sadly, the actual speeds associated with these terms isn't made clear, though the likes of Virgin's highest-speed fibre optic network of 100Mbit/s, already available in some areas, will surely be a benchmark.

The Government will also provide an additional £50 million to fund a second wave of ten smaller super-connected cities.

Also promisedis an extension to mobile coverage to 60,000 rural homes and along at least ten key roads by 2015.

These include the A2 and A29 in Northern Ireland, the A57, A143, A169, A352, A360 and A591 in England, the A82(T) in Scotland and the A470(T) in Wales, subject to planning permission, using the £150 million investment announced at the Autumn Statement 2011.

The Government also plans to consider whether "direct intervention is required to improve mobile coverage for rail passengers".

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Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys playing records and cycling (not at the same time).