Public money to be used to plug holes in city’s broadband

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BUSINESS leaders were told that some broadband not-spots in Milton Keynes would be plugged by using money from the ‘public purse’.

The Next Gen broadband roadshow event, hosted by Milton Keynes Council and held at stadium:mk at the end of May.

The issue of not spots was raised by business leaders to Bill Murphy, MD of the Next Generation Access (NGA) BT Group.

Mr Murphy responded by advising delegates that whilst BT was upgrading the vast majority of its network and cabinets there would still be some ‘not spots’ which would not be upgraded at present.

In these instances the infrastructure investment for the fibre upgrades would come out of the public purse.

In Milton Keynes’ case this would partly be funded from a £140,000 share of a national government fund specifically set up for the sole purpose of filling in these broadband infrastructure ‘not spots’.

Earlier this year Milton Keynes Council, together with Beds Borough and Central Beds Council, jointly submitted a successful business plan to receive a share of this funding. The business plan which outlines where and how this money would be spent, will be available to the public.

Opening the conference, Councillor David Hopkins the Milton Keynes Council cabinet member whose remit covers IT and the economy said: “Next generation broadband access is the backbone of the envisaged ‘smart’ Milton Keynes. ICT can enable economic growth, better provision of public services, and an improved quality of life for all MK citizens.”

For details visit www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/mkgrowth or email mylocalbroadband@milton-keynes.gov.uk