Broadband Competitive Process
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
In December the UK Government announced 14 cities across the UK which would be eligible for superfast broadband access.
In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor George Osborne announced up to 10 cities would share £100m and become super-connected with 80-100Mbps broadband access.
The four capitals - London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast - will benefit while the others will be chosen through a competitive process.
As part of the proposal to the urban broadband fund, Glasgow will have to bid for a share of the £100 million and detail how it will be used.
Proposals will also need to include plans for city-wide high-speed mobile connectivity and bidding cities will be expected to contribute to the cost by providing additional investment or using public assets. Successful cities will be announced in the Budget in March, with a February 13 deadline for submission of proposals.
The Government will then work with the victorious cities to produce fully developed plans and the money allocated to each city will be announced in July.
The business potential for such internet connectivity for Glasgow is the city's driving force behind its claim. Huge firms from across the world would be further enticed to set up operations in the region through the ease of communication with partners across the globe. Not only that, the bidding presents huge opportunities for the city's existing business base, giving them the chance to develop their e-commerce offerings and further building upon the region's portfolio of fully networked businesses.
In a recent report commissioned by ScotlandIS, the country could add £12bn to its economy create 20,000 additional high-value jobs and 1,000 new businesses by embracing digital technology over the next 5 years.
Taking this onboard, it is essential we have the infrastructure to allow Glasgow to compete with the world's digital hubs. Job creation will inevitably stem from increased connectivity, with Glasgow cementing its position as a global destination for businesses. The creative and high-tech industries would thrive, driven to a city which can host their technological demands.
There is also evidence of a strong business case for attracting and co-ordinating large scale events such as sporting competitions or cultural festivals. Offering the public the ability to buy tickets, book accommodation and arrange transport through one IT portal is something which has been carried out successfully by other cities in the past and could expand Glasgow's potential as a host city.
Service delivery is another area which would reap the rewards of a superfast broadband network. Businesses are increasingly turning to online solutions as a quicker, cheaper and often more reliable option for their customers and clients. Being in a area which can facilitate any digital requirements is a position Glasgow much aspire towards and access to superfast broadband is key to this.
BT and Virgin will strengthen their networks in the winning municipality to deliver the superfast broadband speeds. The city's share of the £100 million can be used to provide coverage in areas where BT and Virgin will not go or services beyond what the market will provide.
Glasgow will have to show how the super-connected status will be used to drive growth with a particular focus on SMEs and strategic employment zones.
Your Chamber will be actively engaged in helping to shape Glasgow's bid, working towards the city's digital future.