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HS2 vs Ultrafast Fibre Broadband: Our survey results are in…

Should HS2 money be better spent on superfast fibre optic broadband? We posed that question last week and perhaps unsurprisingly most of you responded with a resounding ‘yes’.

Over 70 per cent (73.8 per cent) of the vote was split in favour of a slice of the money being spent on high speed railways being poured into the BDUK pot instead.

Less than 6 per cent (5.95 per cent) were in favour of the money staying where it is and being spent on rolling out high speed trains.

HS2 vs Ultrafast Fibre Broadband: What do you think the money should be spent on?

A more even-handed 13.10 per cent of you said that ‘both were equally important’ while 7.14 per cent argued that neither of the infrastructure projects were as pressing as other things.

Thanks to everyone who took part and voted.

We’re tracking the development of next-gen broadband projects up and down the country, rounding up all the big headline-grabbing announcements in our weekly Rollout Roundup feature.

We’ll be running some more surveys in the future so do stick around and as always let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.

February 4, 2013

HS2 vs Ultrafast Fibre Broadband: What do you think the money should be spent on?

Today the Government announced details of the second phase of HS2, the high-speed rail network which will connect London and Heathrow Airport to Manchester and Leeds via Birmingham.

Over £32 billion has been earmarked for the mass transit project compared to a total of £1.1 billion for broadband.

HS2 vs Ultrafast Fibre Broadband: What do you think the money should be spent on?

Critics of HS2 say, amongst other things, that this is the wrong way round and more cash should be spent on fibre optic broadband for all instead.

Referring to the first phase of HS2 (the London-Birmingham link) Hyperoptic’s co-founder Boris Ivanovic claimed “for the money being spent on one high-speed rail link [£17-20 billion], we could have [FTTP] fibre to every single person in the UK.”

Almost £800 million is being spent on upgrading the UK’s broadband infrastructure, through a number of channels: 

  • BDUK – £530 million
  • Super Connected Cities – £150 million
  • ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) – £100 million
  • RCBF (Rural Community Broadband Fund) – £20 million

Finally, back in September 2011, the DCMS suggested that “a further £300 million may be available for investment in broadband up to 2017.”

This would bring the total estimated pot up to £1.1 billion – still less than ten per cent of what’s being spent on Phase 1 of HS2.

While HS2 will undoubtedly benefit several UK citizens, cheifly those living in the connected cities, if there was fibre broadband everywhere, then everybody could ‘telecommute’ and work from home instead of submitting to the daily grind.

Should money for a high speed railway line that’ll serve some of the UK’s biggest cities be better spent on providing 1Gbps fibre broadband to every home and business?

Let us know in our survey and feel free to drop us a comment below the line.

January 28, 2013

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