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The UK government is to provide funding for broadband upgrades in UK further education colleges, it has been announced.

Finance will be made available to enable institutions to add second broadband connections, and also make the best possible use of existing provision - for instance, through bandwidth upgrades.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock told attendees at the Association of Colleges 2013 conference that embracing the latest technologies can help colleges "revolutionise" the services they offer to students and business.

"This new funding to improve broadband infrastructure will provide colleges with greater resilience and improved broadband speed," he noted.

Mr Hancock explained that as many as eight in ten centres still rely on a single connection, for both their operational and teaching needs - including cloud-based applications and online business.

“It’s easy to imagine what happens if that connection goes down - that’s why I’m allocating extra funds," he added.

The Skills Minister said this would give colleges greater ability to operate and support their students with the latest technology 24/7.

According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, further information on the scope and timetable of the programme will be announced shortly.

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