Published: 5th Jun 2013
Plans to upgrade broadband services in Edinburgh have come to a halt as a result of EU legislation.
The Scottish capital was one of ten UK cities to receive a share of the £100 million provided by the government's Super Connected Cities programme.
However, the Department of Culture Media and Sports (DMCS) was forced to rethink the initiative after realising it may have fallen foul of EU legislation on state aid infringements and competition, the Scotsman reports.
This left Edinburgh with just three weeks to completely re-draft its plans for the scheme before the deadline for the £10.7 million funding package passed.
Local councillors have expressed their frustration that the DCMS allowed the situation to occur.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin, convenor of the finance committee, stated: "This should never have been a problem if the scheme had been thought through properly in the first place.
"It's very frustrating from the council’s point of view. We had a team who put together an excellent bid that came very near the top of the ten cities that were successful."
He added that the council is now looking at options that will allow the city to receive the investment without the state aid consideration "coming into play".
The Super Connected Cities programme aims to bring high-speed internet access to 90 per cent of residents in some the UK's largest cities such as London, Belfast and Cardiff.
This funding is needed, as in many large urban areas the quality of broadband connections is still surprisingly erratic. Earlier this year, a study by uSwitch discovered that some internet services in Birmingham are 89 per cent slower than in other parts of the city that are just a few miles away.
One way to receive a super-fast connection without having to rely on government or council funding is Tooway satellite broadband from Avonline. This service is fast and reliable and can be easily installed in a huge city or isolated village.
Posted by Craig Roberts
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