BDUK to help fund very high speed broadband in cities?
The government could help to fund the rollout of "very high speed broadband" in the UK's cities, a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) job advert has indicated.
According to reports, the DCMS's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) unit is looking to recruit a programme management office and finance lead.
In the ad, the department explained: "BDUK is also taking forward other ministerial priorities such as proposals for very high speed broadband in cities."
Previously, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has suggested the bulk of the £530 million it has earmarked for broadband improvements will be spent on boosting services in rural areas. However, this advert reveals urban locations could also be set to receive a share of the funding.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously stated that by 2015, 90 per cent of the UK will have access to a super-fast broadband service - defined by Ofcom as offering speeds of above 24Mbps.
When asked about the possibility of including cities in the government's broadband funding plans, a spokesperson from the DCMS reaffirmed its commitment to delivering the best super-fast broadband network in Europe in four years' time.
As well as bringing minimum 2Mbps speeds to all properties and boosting the availability of next-generation access, the source admitted the department is "exploring other ways" to achieve its goals.
While proposals to develop broadband infrastructure in cities may be welcomed by urban residents and businesses, the move is likely to provoke a negative reaction from rural campaigners.
Earlier this month, the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) in Wales argued not-spot areas should be brought up to speed before higher capabilities are promised in other places.
"Broadband is an essential tool to help UK businesses recover from the current economic crisis and rural businesses in Wales are at a disadvantage if they cannot access an adequate broadband service," said CLA Wales director Ben Underwood.