The Government’s rollout of superfast broadband has now reached more than 1 million homes and businesses across the UK, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, announced today.
The £1.7 billion nationwide rollout is firmly on track to extend superfast broadband to 95% of UK homes and businesses by 2017. The rate at which the fibre technology is being rolled out under the programme is rapidly accelerating, with up to 40,000 premises gaining access every week.
The UK-wide rollout is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future by providing access to superfast broadband in areas the private sector would not otherwise have reached. The current rural programme will deliver returns of £20 for every £1 invested, representing tremendous value for money.
Faster broadband will not only improve profits for UK businesses, but will create an additional 56,000 jobs in the UK by 2024.The work involved in the current roll out is expected to provide a £1.5 billion boost to local economies. By 2024, the government’s current investments in faster broadband will be boosting rural economies by £275 million every month, or around £9 million every day.
Current UK coverage of superfast broadband is the highest of the top 5 European economies and we also lead our European counterparts in terms of take up, competitiveness and pricing. But Government recognises that there is still more to do.
Current plans will ensure superfast speeds for 95% of the UK, but Government firmly believes that its transformation of the digital landscape should reach every area of the UK. Focus is now on the “final 5%” – those areas in the most remote and hardest to reach places in the UK that are not covered by existing plans. £10m has been invested in a series of pilot projects currently under way in 8 locations across the nation to investigate the best way of tackling these areas. The findings will be used to inform future funding bids to ensure everyone benefits from the transformation of the digital landscape currently underway.