Greater Manchester’s ambition is to become one of the world’s top 20 digital cities by 2020.
Reliable, high-speed broadband access is becoming increasingly important for homes, businesses and public services. However, the availability of broadband services and the speeds which can be achieved vary significantly. In recognition of this, the government has made funding available to address this issue, and Greater Manchester has also applied for additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
Our ultimate objective is to maximise the availability of superfast broadband (above 30Mbps), particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises in our key employment sites and town centres, and ensure universal provision of basic broadband (above 2Mbps) by 2015 to all homes and business premises. Greater Manchester is working with the private sector to complement existing private investment, and to ensure that public funding is targeted at areas where the need is greatest.
This public consultation is designed to ensure that we have a full understanding of the geographic areas that have gaps in broadband infrastructure and are eligible for public investment in accordance with European State aid legislation.
The consultation covers the eight metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester. The city council areas of Manchester and Salford are subject to different arrangements for State aid and funding, and are not part of the current consultation.
Responses are invited from businesses, residents, and broadband suppliers, to comment on the proposed target areas. Please visit the Greater Manchester Broadband Consultation site to find out more, and to respond to the consultation.
Please note that the consultation is hosted on the website of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). TfGM is responsible for managing the delivery of Greater Manchester’s broadband programme on behalf of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA).
The closing date for responses is Thursday 1st August 2013.