Government roll-out of superfast broadband still on tracksamiragazzane
The latest Broadband Performance Indicator report published by Government shows that superfast broadband has now been made accessible to nearly 3 million premises in the UK (an increase of 500 000 more premises since May 2015) thanks to projects funded by the Broadband Delivery UK Programme (BDUK).
The BDUK programme is a publicly funded project (£1.7bn) designed to complement private sector investment in the deployment of superfast broadband (24Mbit/s) to UK premises.
According to Government, the programme is progressing well and the target of 95% of nationwide coverage could be reached by the end of 2017. Demand is certainly well ahead of target with BT recently returning £129m of public funds to be reinvested in the programme due to higher than anticipated take-up rates.
Market test pilots, examining different business cases and technologies, to deploy superfast broadband to the hardest-to-reach areas (the remaining 5%) are still ongoing. Findings from the trials will assist Government and industry in identifying options to fund the deployment in these areas.
Matthew Evans, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group said: “Whilst there is still debate about the way that these procurements were structured, the programme is now delivering high capacity connectivity to tens of thousands of homes each week which is no easy task. It is important that Government continues to focus on value for money and starts to consider the best mechanism to push superfast coverage to near-universal levels”.