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Shropshire lagging behind for superfast broadband speeds

Matt Hancock, the Culture Secretary, said the Government had met its commitment to provide superfast broadband to more than 95 per cent of homes before the end of 2017. However, figures from the independent advice website thinkbroadband.com, show Shropshire is lagging well behind, where only about 81.8 per cent of homes are believed to have superfast access, with the figure falling to 77.9 per cent for Powys. In Telford & Wrekin the figure is above the Government pledge, at 97.1 per cent.

In July last year Airband was awarded a contract for delivering superfast broadband to more than 14,000 homes and businesses in the Shropshire Council area. Figures put together by Shropshire Council in 2016 indicated that as many as 18,000 homes could still be without superfast broadband by 2020. Superfast broadband is considered as more than 30mbps.

Ultra fast broadband is deemed 100mbps or quicker. In Telford & Wrekin 79.2 per cent of homes have access to it, with the figure falling to 7.9 per cent for Shropshire, behind Powys with 17 per cent of homes having access. The government has said its GBP1.7 billion rollout to reach the 95 per cent figure had created 50,000 new jobs and generated an extra GBP8.9 billion in turnover in the economies of the areas, which benefited between 2013 and 2016.

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According to thinkbroadband.com, speeds of 24mbps or faster are available to around 27.5 million out of 28.9 million premises in the UK. In England 95.5 per cent of properties can get those speeds, while the figure dips to 94.2 per cent in Wales, 93.4 per cent in Scotland and 86.7 per cent in Northern Ireland, the website’s data shows. Mr Hancock said: “Over the last five 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.

“We’ve delivered on our commitment to reach 95 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK, but there’s still more to do in our work building a Britain that’s fit for the future.

Advertising “We’re reaching thousands more premises every single week, and the next commitment is to making affordable, reliable, high speed broadband a legal right to everyone by 2020.” The DCMS said 2.25 million homes and businesses have taken up superfast broadband in areas covered by its Broadband Delivery UK projects.

BT Openreach, which looks after the country’s broadband network, aims to deliver broadband for every home and business which is fast enough to allow multiple video streams on one connection by 2020. Clive Selley, Openreach chief executive, said: “This is without doubt an extraordinary achievement and I’d like to thank the thousands of Openreach engineers and the many more of our people supporting them, who have worked so tirelessly to make this happen. “We have come a long way in a short space of time, with one of the fastest broadband deployments in the world.

This is an important milestone but we’re not stopping here. We’re determined to get Britain, the whole of Britain, hooked up to decent broadband speeds. “The Government’s universal service obligation will make high speed broadband a legal right and we’ll be working with industry, Government and Ofcom to deliver this.

In the meantime, we’ll be continuing to expand our network to address the remaining not-spots through a combination of our own commercial programmes and our partnerships with local authorities and communities.”

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