Broadband boost as connectivity reaches 95% of the UK
Britain’s digital future has been secured thanks to the government extending broadband services to 19 out of 20 UK homes and businesses. The implementation was announced by Matt Hancock, the DCMS Secretary of State. He said, “Providing access to reliable, high speed broadband is probably the single most important thing we can do to ensure the sustainability of our rural communities and businesses and as such it is fantastic to hear that Wales has reached 94% for superfast broadband coverage.” The Government announced specific details of its achievements as part of the broadband package.
In Wales, access to superfast broadband has risen from 29.4% of homes and businesses in 2010 to 94.2% by December 2017. The government also estimated that superfast speeds have already delivered an GBP8.9 billion sales boost to local economies Industry experts welcomed the news, but warned that improving broadband was only one aspect of improving Britain’s digital roadmap.
Rachel Neaman, CEO, Corsham Institute, said, “The UK’s broadband roll-out is having a direct impact on local economies, driving the growth of jobs and creating opportunities in the digital economy. It’s very encouraging to see the government investing in and delivering results in an area which is critical for the country’s future. However, the digital divide goes beyond access to the internet.
We have known for a long time that many people still lack the basic digital skills and support networks to make the most of online opportunities. The pace of tech-driven change is now creating a further challenge if we want everyone, no matter where they live, to work and thrive in our digital world throughout their lives. We need to see more teaching, training and support for workers, provided by businesses and policymakers.
It’s also time for more of a focus on digital education and social media awareness in schools,” she concluded.