Mott MacDonald is proud to announce that it has successfully advised four local authorities on their tenders to receive funding from the government to roll out ultrafast broadband coverage as part of the Urban Broadband Fund (UBF). Each will become ‘super-connected cities’, with businesses and households benefiting from the availability of broadband services ranging from 100Mb per second to 1Gb per second connectivity.
The UBF was unveiled in the 2011 Autumn Statement, when the Chancellor announced that £100 million would be made available to create up to 10 super-connected cities across the UK. Major cities (Tier 1) of the UK applied for this fund and Mott MacDonald advised Birmingham City Council on its successful application, following which it was awarded £10 million.
In the 2012 Budget, the Chancellor announced a further £50 million for the UBF to enable at least ten smaller cities (Tier 2) to become super-connected. In this round of funding Mott MacDonald advised Aberdeen, Brighton and Oxford Councils, all of whom were successful in their applications.
As part of the process Mott MacDonald worked with the councils to draft their funding applications. This involved developing a strategic business case to define the vision and objectives for each city and the role that enhanced broadband infrastructure would play in its future. The consultancy also reviewed existing and planned infrastructure to identify potential areas which needed further investment. The economic and social objectives of each city were identified, local businesses were consulted and comprehensive financial and funding plans were devised with advice given on project management structure and governance and provided legal, regulatory and state aid support.
Andrew Doyle, manager of Mott MacDonald’s technology and communications business, said: “At Mott MacDonald we see the deployment of broadband infrastructure as essential to the 21st century economy as roads and rail where in the past. We are delighted that our client cities have been successful and believe their individual plans will make a telling difference to the local and national economy.”
Mott MacDonald will support each city during the procurement and implementation stages in anticipation of launching new infrastructure in 2014/15.