Digital Transformation

Data protection could become a bigger issue as UK gets more connected

Ten British cities could become super connected after a government pledge to invest, but firms might have to plan for better data protection as a result.

Up to ten British cities are to become ‘super connected’ after the government pledged to invest heavily in superfast broadband.

While this is great news for firms in the areas involved, it could present new challenges in terms of data protection and secure online backup.

Companies will have to think harder about who they trust for these services as a superfast connection could allow hackers to steal information extremely quickly if the right safeguards are not in place.

However, those who do address these issues earlier stand to gain much from the government investment, which was announced by chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne earlier this week as part of his Autumn Statement.

A total of £100 million will go towards getting up to ten UK cities, including London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, up to speed with broadband connections of between 80Mbps and 100Mbps.

It will come as part of the £5 billion National Infrastructure Plan, which will also boost a number of other things important to UK businesses, including the transport system.

Mr Osborne believes the investment will help the cities compete with rivals around the world.

"It means creating new superfast digital networks for companies across our country. These do not exist today. See what countries like China or Brazil are building, and you’ll also see why we risk falling behind the rest of the world," he said.

The move was also praised by telecoms giant BT, which said the investment could help the cities involved fulfil their potential.

"BT is already upgrading large parts of these cities under its commercial rollout plan and these funds could help us go further. We look forward to working closely with the selected cities to see what can be achieved," the firm said in a statement.