The Government’s nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached more than two million UK homes and businesses, figures published today (Monday 9 February) reveal. Of these, 188,955 properties in the East Midlands are now enjoying access to faster speeds.
The rollout is delivering superfast access - internet speeds greater than 24 Mbps - to those properties not covered by existing commercial networks and is on track to take superfast access to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017. The UK already leads the EU “big five” nations when it comes to superfast access and take-up and the programme will ensure it stays ahead.
Government's £1.7bn investment in the rollout is a key part of their long term economic plan. Around 80 per cent of the UK already has access to superfast speeds, and the rollout is currently reaching an additional 40,000 homes and businesses every week.
Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:
“Today, there are two million more UK homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband than there were two years ago as a result of this ambitious project. This is a tremendous result that is already making a huge difference to millions of people.
"We want everyone in the UK to be able to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, that’s why we’ve begun work on reaching the last five per cent of communities not covered by existing plans.”
Faster broadband is a catalyst for economic growth, and its estimated that government rollout will result in the creation of 56,000 more jobs in the UK by 2024. Superfast broadband will be pivotal in driving profits for local businesses, and rural economies are set to benefit by around £9 million every day due to the work being done now.
Project partners, BT Openreach, is now rolling out the fibre-optic cable at maximum speed, with great progress to date in each area of the region. Focus is now firmly placed on the hardest to reach areas that make up the “final five per cent” and government has already begun work on extending superfast coverage to these communities.
Government confirmed today that seven pilot schemes aimed at helping to reach these areas will now move into deployment, having successfully completed the first stage of a trial period.
The seven schemes will:
● Generate evidence about the cost of delivering superfast speeds in these hardest to reach areas in order to better understand the level of public investment that will be needed
● Build capacity and capability in the market and increase the market’s knowledge of state aid requirements by sharing the pilot findings as widely as possible
● Generate evidence about expected levels of take-up in hardest to reach areas and how it can be incentivised
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