The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is investing £1m to help companies develop internet access technology with speeds between 1 and 10Gb/s.

The TSB is sponsoring several feasibility projects – each costing between £30,000 and £100,000 – to help establish European collaborations that will participate in larger European Union-funded research-and-development initiatives.

The ultimate aim – the development of pan-European Ultra-Fast Broadband – could see European companies gaining a massive competitive advantage on a global scale.

Mike Biddle, lead technologist at the TSB, explained Ultra-Fast Broadband would have a long-term impact on European business.

He said: ‘Putting together an optical broadband capability across the whole of Europe, will fundamentally change the way that businesses operate and will give European companies a major competitive edge.

'Imagine the efficiencies that could be achieved through broadband that is up to 1,000 times faster than what we have now. Then add the opportunities for more flexible working arrangements, including an increase in remote working, and you begin to see the many advantages.'

Biddle said funding from the TSB will help make this technology overcome the challenges that currently stand in its way.

He added: 'The challenge is to identify ways to address the technical issues facing the introduction of Ultra-Fast Broadband within the next decade and to build European collaborations to exploit the technology, while generating wealth for the UK.

'Our intention in providing this funding is to help British companies establish future European collaborations that will participate in larger EU funding initiatives.'