Nottingham could offer Wi-Fi on new tram service

Wednesday, March 7th 2012
Nottingham has applied for government funding to build super-fast broadband cabling alongside its new tram network.
Nottingham could offer Wi-Fi on new tram service
Broadband could be offered on Nottingham's new tram service if its bid for government funding is successful, with the city's council planning to build internet infrastructure along with the latest phase of its transport expansion plans.

The city has submitted a bid to the Urban Broadband Fund and hopes to be granted up to £8.5 million in cash, money which could be used to offer local households and businesses some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country, the Nottingham Post reports.

Although a number of cities have put in bids for the £100 million of funding available through the coalition government's initiative, with a decision on the destination of the cash set to be made in chancellor's upcoming Budget, Nottingham claims its scheme is unique in that it would involve less expensive infrastructure construction than many of the others.

This is because the ducting and cabling necessary for high-speed broadband would be laid alongside the city's tramlines, put down along with the new lines and retrofitted to the existing track.

Councillor Alex Ball, executive assistant for housing and regeneration at the city council, said super-fast broadband could boost the economy in striking ways and help generate new jobs and industries in the city, stressing the collaborative nature of the application for funding

"This isn't just a city council bid, it's a total Nottingham bid. We're really pleased to be working with partners across the spectrum, from property development companies to games companies and from small to medium enterprises to the city's large employers," Mr Ball argued.

Investment from private sources and other budgets set up to support business and infrastructure growth could be merged with the government's proposed funding to help roll out broadband plans in Nottingham.

The tram line plans are expected to dovetail with attempts to enhance the city's internet access involve the extension of the lines across the wider East Midlands region, with services on the new routes to begin in late 2014.
 

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