Government delivers on promise to take superfast broadband to 95 per cent of UK premises
The Government has delivered on its manifesto commitment to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017, DCMS Secretary of State Matt Hancock announced today.
Figures published by thinkbroadband have confirmed that more than 19 out of 20 UK homes and businesses now have the opportunity to upgrade their internet connections to superfast speeds of 24 Mbps or faster – more than double what Ofcom advise is required by a typical family home.
The £1.7 billion Government rollout of superfast broadband to areas deemed “not commercially viable” by industry has so far reached more than 4.5 million UK premises that would otherwise have been left in the connectivity slow lane, the majority of which are in rural areas. In addition to the huge benefits to our day-to-day lives that superfast speeds offer, this closing of the “digital divide” has also delivered a significant boost to local economies – creating around 50,000 new local jobs and generating an additional £8.9 billion in turnover in the areas covered by the Government rollout between 2013 and 2016.
DCMS Secretary of State, Matt Hancock said:
“Over the last 5 years, the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband has made superfast speeds a reality for more than 4.5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out. But there’s still more to do in our work building a Britain that’s fit for the future. We’re reaching thousands more premises every single week, and have committed to making affordable, reliable, high speed broadband a legal right to everyone by 2020.”
December was a particularly busy month for Openreach who, as the Government’s major partner on this massive infrastructure project, have been working hard throughout the winter months to ensure the rollout remained on track. In total, around 800,000 homes and businesses were reached last year through the UK Government BDUK programme alongside commercial delivery, with Openreach delivering the major proportion of this achievement; and as a result of this deployment, the 95 per cent target was achieved in December 2017.