Edinburgh is one of ten UK cities set to share £100m to introduce ultra-fast broadband and wifi through the city, Chancellor George Osborne announced today in his budget.
The UK's four capital cities as well as Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds & Bradford, Newcastle and Manchester are all benefiting from the Super-Connected Cities programme.
Under the proposal, more than 90% of Edinburgh residents and businesses will have access to high speed broadband by 2015.
The funds will also be used to introduce free public wi-fi zones in key streets, squares and parks, initially focused in the city centre, but with the potential to extend to key cultural and community locations across Edinburgh.
The City of Edinburgh Council will manage between £8m and £11m of capital funding for its ‘Connected Capital’ programme, and will put together a detailed plan by July 2012 outlining how the money will be spent.
Yesterday the Council agreed to commit £1.9m of revenue funding to deliver the programme, with further funding and revenue streams being explored.
As well as stimulating demand for business and residential broadband the initiative aims to develop educational and social opportunities to ensure that Edinburgh is a digitally inclusive city.
Part of the proposal is also the establishment of a facility to demonstrate the benefits of high speed broadband to small and medium sized businesses.
Sue Bruce, Chief Executive, said: “Becoming a super-connected city will enable us to compete with the world’s top digital cities. Edinburgh is already a world class visitor destination and a great place in which to live, work, study and invest. This funding will help Edinburgh to attract new jobs and investment and will greatly enhance our offering as a digitally inclusive city."