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British consumers are seemingly divided on the merits of the government's £150 million Urban Broadband Fund.

In a poll conducted by ISPreview.co.uk, almost 52 per cent of respondents backed the plan - initially unveiled by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement 2011.

However, the other 48 per cent - potentially including those based in the countryside - expressed opposition to further government finance for urban broadband links. 

George Osborne has pledged public funding to create a network of super-connected cities where businesses and households have access to 80Mb+ broadband speeds.

Among the ten cities to benefit will be Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London - with Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle also set to receive a share of the funding.

In addition to the £100 million investment originally announced, the Con-Lib coalition is set to invest £50 million upgrading networks in smaller urban centres around the UK.

But critics of the plan claim the coalition should be channelling as much funding as possible into improving rural broadband networks.

Some £530 million has been distributed to county councils across the UK, in order to bring 2Mb broadband to every UK community by 2015.

However, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has confessed that more public money is needed in order to deliver the benefits of high-speed broadband to consumers across Britain.

Private sector broadband providers have trended to concentrate infrastructure upgrade work on towns and cities, where profit margins are the greatest.

And the progress made on urban broadband speeds in recent years has led to the establishing of a UK digital divide - one that continues to grow.

The government hopes its Rural Broadband Fund will help narrow the gap - but the provision of extra money for urban connectivity is seen by many as contrary to this objective.

Of those, surveyed by ISPreview.co.uk, just one in ten in favour of the Urban Broadband Fund thought the money allocated by the Chancellor would make a difference.

Some 41.7 per cent said greater investment would be needed to make a noticeable improvement to the UK's urban broadband infrastructure.

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