Newcastle has launched plans to become one the UK’s super-connected cities in a scheme which is expected to boost the local economy by an estimated £150m.
Go Digital Newcastle, a government scheme delivered by Newcastle City Council, will see 97 per cent of Newcastle given access to superfast fibre broadband by 2015, free Wi-Fi in Newcastle city centre, a cloud computing centre, business connection vouchers and a business support programme.
The UK Broadband Impact Study published this year by analysts SQW, concluded that for every £1 invested in broadband by the Government, the UK economy will benefit by £20.
In addition, the city will be one of 22 super-connected cities where smalls businesses, charities, and social enterprises can apply for connection vouchers worth up to £3,000 to get connected to high speed broadband.
Visitors to the city and people needing internet access while on the move will also have access to free Wi-Fi across the city and in public buildings, in high streets and there are plans to bring it onto the Metro.
The new fibre optic cabling which will be installed in the cabinets on the streets of Newcastle will deliver speeds of up to 80Mbps, with most businesses and homes able to access 30Mbps or higher.
“Our city-based businesses can use the faster speeds to reach new markets and products and compete on both a national and international scale,” said Council Leader Cllr Nick Forbes. “The economic benefits to the city will be significant and further cement Newcastle’s reputation as an exciting place to live and work.”
Image: Go Digital Newcastle launch.
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