Superfast broadband `extended to 95% of UK premises´
The Government’s pledge to give 95% of the country access to superfast broadband has been met, the Culture Secretary has said. Citing the latest figures from independent advice website thinkbroadband.com, Matt Hancock said millions more homes and businesses could get online at speeds of at least 24mbps. Mr Hancock said the manifesto pledge to reach 95% of premises before the end of 2017 was achieved in December.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport estimated the GBP1.7 billion rollout 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. 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% of properties can get those speeds, while the figure dips to 94.2% in Wales, 93.4% in Scotland and 86.7% 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% 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. “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.
Openreach CEO Clive Selley vowed to address remaining `not-spots’ across the country (Steve Parsons/PA) 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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