The Government has invested over £530 million in boosting broadband connectivity this year, supporting over 330,000 homes and businesses in rural areas.
The latest £33 million investment will deliver gigabit capable broadband to over 17,000 homes across rural Derbyshire as part of the Government’s ongoing connectivity investment scheme.
The latest project means that over 79 per cent of UK homes and businesses have access to gigabit capable broadband, with plans to expand to 85 per cent by 2025.
This year, contracts have been awarded to support businesses and homes across Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, New Forest, Norfolk, Northeast Staffordshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire and Suffolk, totalling over £530 million in investment.
Sachin Agrawal, UK Managing Director at Zoho Corporation, said: “Connectivity investment in rural areas is crucial to empower regional businesses across the UK. Businesses and their locations are key to unlocking local economic growth and distributing wealth throughout the country more effectively, and internet connectivity plays a vital role here.
“Technology plays a central part in creating a seamless experience for employees, whether they are at home or in the office. Tools that both enable real-time communication and collaboration that allow team members to simultaneously work efficiently on tasks, keep staff continuously connected, regardless of location.
“Unified systems that deliver these tools as well as bring data together and make it accessible to all relevant employees, can contribute significantly to staff productivity and motivation, which translates to business growth. All of this is not possible without reliable connectivity.”
“By improving connectivity in regions across the UK, businesses also have more options when it comes to office locations, given the freedom to reduce overheads and move away from busy urban centres. This not only provides cost savings, but improves flexibility for employees who can feel the benefits of a more affordable lifestyle and be closer to their families.”
Further Government work with broadband suppliers is expected to deliver gigabit capable broadband nationwide by 2030.
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, Michelle Donelan, said: “Working hand in glove with industry, the success of our high-speed broadband rollout means more homes have faster, clearer connectivity than ever before.”
“Whether they are streaming classic Christmas movies or video calling loved ones across the world, this year thousands more families will not have to face feuds over festive films or frustrating buffering, leaving more time to spend enjoying the company of their nearest and dearest.”
Through earlier contracts, thousands of homes and businesses in areas including Stavely in Cumbria, Barnard Castle in Teesdale and Bishop’s Caundle in North Dorset have already benefited from upgraded gigabit connection.