Belfast plans to become a super-connected city

11 Jun 2012

In a move that should make managers in other cities and towns in Ireland who care about their local economy sit up and pay attention, Belfast plans to provide citywide access speeds of at least 80Mbps with ultrafast capacity of at least 100Mbps for businesses that require it.

According to Belfast City Council, Belfast is one of 10 cities that have applied for funding from the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport to become a ‘Super Connected City’.

This includes a plan to cover all Belfast with wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) extending in a 5km radius from City Hall.

Belfast City Council pointed out that many areas of Belfast now have speeds of up to 24Mbps but the plan is to bring this up to 80Mbps, with speeds of at least 100Mbps available to firms if they require it.

“At this stage we are guaranteed stg£6m and are currently preparing a second stage submission for additional funding up to stg£7.7m. We will also allocate an additional stg£3m to this project,” the council stated.

An online survey has been prepared and citizens of the city are encouraged to fill it in and show there is a demand for better broadband connections within the Belfast City Council area.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years