CIPR welcomes government commitment to ultra-fast broadband
The CIPR has today welcomed the news that the Government has selected Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester and Newcastle to become super-connected cities, as part of a £100 million investment first announced in the Autumn Statement 2011.
The Government has made a further pledge to transform the quality of digital public services by committing that from 2014 new online services will only go live if the responsible minister can demonstrate that they themselves can use the service successfully and there will be a ‘digital by default’ approach to transactional services by 2015.
The Government has stated that by 2015, this investment will deliver ultra-fast broadband coverage to 1.7 million households and 200,000 businesses in high growth areas as well as high-speed wireless broadband for three million residents. The Government will also provide an additional £50 million to fund a second wave of 10 smaller super-connected cities.
A further announcement stated the Government will extend mobile coverage to 60,000 rural homes in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, subject to planning permission.
Transforming the quality of digital public services through this commitment underlines the importance of digital communications and how they are becoming increasingly sophisticated with consumers expecting consistent, fast and affordable broadband access. The Government must continue to invest to ensure that people can remain connected.
It was widely reported this week that the UK has the largest ‘internet economy’ of any country in the world. It is vital that if we are to remain ahead over the next few years, we invest in the infrastructure that brings high speed connectivity to homes and businesses throughout the UK. With the arrival of large parts of the BBC in Manchester the growth of the media, creative and communications industries is happening as fast and in some cases more quickly outside the capital. This investment recognises that fact and gives it impetus.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).