AS2011: £100m to improve urban broadband speeds

Chancellor George Osborne pledged to improve the UK's digital infrastructure in his autumn statement today.

He said the government will establish a £100m urban broadband fund that will create 10 "super-connected cities" with a speed of 80-100 megabits per second.

This has been confirmed for Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London.

The other six locations will be announced in next year's Budget.

Osborne also reiterated the government's commitment to invest up to £150m to improve the quality of mobile phone networks in areas where reception is poor in a bid to extend coverage to 99% of the population.

It will begin procurement in the spring and expects businesses and consumers to benefit from improved coverage from early 2013.

Osborne also said the government will invest £75m to help technology-based small and medium-sized industries to develop, demonstrate and commercialise new products and services.

Start-ups will also get a boost with the introduction of a new Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme from April which will offer 50% income tax relief on investments up to £100,000. There will also be a capital gains tax exemption on gains realised in 2012-13.

The government also plans to help the flow of credit to small businesses with a £20bn National Loan Guarantee Scheme where government guarantees should reduce the cost of bank lending to small businesses by around 1%.

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