We could become one of the first UK cities to get super-fast 4G mobile broadband if Nottingham City Councils bid for a share of the Government’s £100 million Urban Broadband Fund – which aims to bring world-leading super-fast broadband and wi-fi to ten of the UK’s cities – is successful.
4G – or fourth generation – is a more advanced version of 3G, the wireless internet that mobiles, laptops and tablet devices use. It is faster and means people will be able to access high-quality video and audio on the move – something that is becoming more and more of our everyday lives.
Only cities with more than 150,000 homes were allowed to apply for a share of the fund and from the shortlist Nottingham faces competition from Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester and Sheffield.
The UK’s four capitals – Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London – are guaranteed to be awarded funding as part of the scheme.
We have to wait until Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget speech later this month to see if the bid has been approved, but there is some additional potential for success – the high-speed data cabling could be laid along tram tracks while the works for line two of the tram are built over the next two years – saving money on the infrastructure costs.
How amazing would it be for Nottingham to be one of the country’s first 4G cities? Not only would existing businesses benefit from increased efficiency and improved connectivity, the city would also be in a much stronger position to respond to the rapidly emerging and anticipated future requirement of businesses.
Time to keep your fingers crossed and hope that the A453 announcement last year wasn’t a ‘flash in the pan’ for Nottingham.