Birmingham’s £10 million broadband plans get Euro go-ahead

The adoption of internet protocol (IP) telephony, -and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) in particular – could well become more feasible in Birmingham following confirmation of European Union clearance of a £10 million government grant for helping to deliver superfast broadband to the city.

The grant had originally been announced by the UK government back in March as part of its Urban Broadband Fund. With the EU having decided that the funding complies with its rules on state aid, Birmingham City Council is now expected to begin sourcing commercial partners this autumn, with a view to collaborating on the development the new broadband network.

Adoption of business VoIP – either through the installation of IP telephony-enabling equipment, or via the services of a host business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller – is one of the more popular benefits that can accrue from having access to superfast broadband.

Among the reasons for the popularity of business VoIP is the increased flexibility it affords over the management of business phone systems, compared with that usually possible through conventional telephone line connections.

In practice, this relates to the capacity to increase or decrease the number of telephone extensions in operation within an organisation at very short notice; and to enable staff to use the same phone line connection regardless of location, thus helping to maintain continuity of service with customers and clients even whilst away from the office.

Business VoIP can also more easily handle complex call monitoring and re-routing requirements. In addition, phone costs can be cheaper than those charged by traditional phone companies.

Commenting on the EU clearance and the impending roll out of superfast broadband in the city, the director for development for Birmingham City Council, Mark Barrow, said that it was ‘putting Birmingham at the heart of the global economy and making sure we are at the leading edge of technological development.’