More than 3.5 million homes and businesses have now been reached by the Government’s nationwide rollout of superfast broadband, figures published at the end of December 2015 reveal.
Thanks to the work already completed by the Government’s broadband delivery arm (BDUK) and the commercial sector, almost nine out of ten UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast speeds. The rollout – the fastest one of its kind anywhere in the world – is currently expected to pass the 4 million milestone in Spring 2016.
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 December 2017.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband is one of the biggest and most challenging infrastructure projects undertaken by Government in recent times. We need to keep the UK moving with the demands of the digital age, and our tremendous progress throughout 2015 has equipped businesses with the tools they need to grow, and homes with the technology to be part of our online global community.”
The last year has seen the dramatic transformation of the UK’s digital landscape continue as a number of Government initiatives have provided a welcome boost to connectivity in hamlets, villages, towns and cities around the UK. In addition to those communities now enjoying superfast speeds as a result of the rollout.
Around 55,000 small businesses in 50 cities across the UK were issued with a broadband connection voucher. Businesses benefitting from the scheme are reporting, on average, a £1,300 per year increase in profits, with a new job being created for every four new connections.
Government has also launched a new scheme aimed at providing immediate assistance to those communities in the hardest to reach places who suffer from the slowest speeds. Every home and business in the UK is now guaranteed a minimum broadband connection speed of at least 2Mbsfollowing the successful implementation of a subsidised satellite offer.
Government has now begun work on introducing a broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) with the ambition to give people the legal right to request a connection to broadband with speeds of 10 Mbps, no matter where they live.