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Cash Boost To Help Speed Up Digital Britain

(c) Sky News 2012

Ten cities have been allocated a share of a £114m pot to transform them into digital broadband leaders - meaning faster down and upload speeds.

London is to receive £25m, while Leeds and Bradford will jointly get £14.4m, Belfast £13.7m and Manchester (Frankfurt: A0ETDJ - news) £12m.

Other cities to share the funding are Bristol (£11.3m), Cardiff (£11m), Edinburgh (£10.7m), Birmingham (£10m) and Newcastle (Frankfurt: 725198 - news) (£6m).

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said the investment would help provide businesses with ultrafast broadband of at least 80 to 100 megabits per second, commonly referred to as Mb or Mbps.

The aim is to help the cities compete with the world's top digital centres for business, investment and jobs by offering high-tech and digital companies the infrastructure they need.

Plans include extending ultrafast broadband to an extra 230,000 residential and 55,000 business premises by 2015.

Ms Miller said: "Fast broadband is essential for growth and is key to the country's economic future.

"These 10 cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans which will turn them into digital leaders and give their local economies a real boost.

"The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment with the best in the world."

A second £50m fund was announced in the Budget to be shared between 10 smaller cities.

When a user connects to the internet, the download speed is the pace at which data is transferred from another computer to theirs.

The advertised download speeds in the UK currently range from 10Mb to 100Mb, with films, games, music and HD images all benefiting from a faster connection.

However, upload speed is also important, this being the speed at which data is uploaded to the internet, such as videos, images and posts on social media.

In either case, neither businesses nor private users will always see their service hit the maximum advertised speeds.

The main drawback at the moment is the reliance on old copper cables, which are poor at transferring data.

The most efficient way to transfer data - in either direction - is through the use of fibre optic cables.