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Digital Minister Matt Hancock has announced that the government has delivered on its manifesto commitment to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017.
According to www.thinkbroadband.com, 19 out of 20 UK homes and businesses now have the opportunity to upgrade their internet connections to superfast speeds of 24 Mbps or faster. The aim to close the ‘digital divide’, aided by a £1.7 billion investment by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, has seen the rollout of superfast broadband reach more than 4.5 million UK premises previously viewed as ‘not commercially viable’.
Through the government BDUK programme, nearly 800,000 homes and businesses were reached last year, mainly through Openreach delivery.
The figures show that the Northern Powerhouse is one of the most connected regions in the UK, with 97.2 per cent of the North East is enjoying unprecedented access to superfast broadband. The North West follows only shortly behind with 96 per cent of the region having access to superfast broadband.
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. 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.”