Superfast broadband rollout to benefit from extra cash

Superfast broadband rollout rural areas

More than half a million premises could benefit from a £440m cash boost to the government’s superfast broadband rollout scheme

The £440 million windfall will help as many as 600,000 homes and businesses gain access to superfast broadband, including properties in the most remote parts of the UK.

New figures show around 1.5 million homes and businesses have already signed up for connections in areas where the government has subsidised superfast broadband rollout.

“Our Broadband Delivery UK programme is giving families and businesses in hard-to-reach areas the fast and reliable internet connections which are increasingly at the heart of modern life,” said Culture Secretary Karen Bradley following the announcement this morning.

“Strong take-up and robust value-for-money measures mean £440 million will be available for reinvestment where it matters – putting more connections in the ground.”

The extra money comes from efficiency savings, and from a clawback mechanism which re-invests money when people take up the superfast connections installed by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). This means BT is able to release £292 million for new connections, with £133 million already allocated to regions around the UK.

Government, local authorities and BT have also saved more than £150 million across 44 projects through careful contract management during the first phase of rollout, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport say.

A total of £442 million will therefore be reinvested in taking superfast speeds to some of the most hard-to-access areas of the country.

More sign-ups mean more funding

Around 4.5 million premises have been given access to superfast broadband through the Government’s £1.7 billion Broadband Delivery UK rollout, with more than 1.5 million signing up for a faster connection.

It means more than 90% of the UK now has access to superfast broadband – up from 45% in 2010. The more people sign up, the more funding is unlocked for new connections.

“We have made great progress but there is still more to do,” Bradley added.

“Broadband speeds aren’t boosted automatically – it needs people to sign up. Increasing take-up is a win-win-win: consumers get a better service, it encourages providers to invest, and when more people sign up in BDUK areas, money is clawed back to pay for more connections.”

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