Jeremy Lefroy, Member of Parliament for Stafford, has welcomed progress made by the Government in delivering superfast broadband across the UK. Since 2010 the Government has made significant headway in achieving better connectivity, providing people around the UK with access to fast and reliable connections wherever they live, work and travel. These achievements include:
- Ensuring superfast broadband is now available to more than 94 per cent of UK homes and businesses, up from 45 per cent in 2010.
- Connecting more than 4.5 million homes and businesses for the first time to superfast broadband since 2013.
The Government has also pledged to ensure that 100 per cent of the UK will have access to affordable, fast and reliable broadband by 2020. Their plans to make this a reality include:
- £645 million to be made available to help take superfast broadband coverage to 98 per cent of the nation over the next few years. It is estimated that this could see more than 900,000 extra UK homes and businesses gain access to superfast speeds at the end of this year alone
- Investing £1.1bn in digital infrastructure to support the next generation of fast and reliable mobile and broadband communications for consumers and businesses.
- The National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) will invest this money by 2020-21, with a focus on priority areas that are critical for improving productivity: economic infrastructure, housing and R&D.
- A £25 million ‘5G Testbeds and Trials’ competition to select projects for funding in 2018-19 to support the next generation of digital infrastructure.
- A 100% business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their networks. This move will incentivise operators to invest in the broadband network, increasing speeds for both businesses and homes.
Commenting, Jeremy said:
“Internet access has become a necessity in our economy, and therefore it is greatly encouraging to hear of the progress the Government has made in the last seven years in delivering high-speed broadband to the UK. I welcome the Government’s investment to ensure that by 2020 all Britons have access to superfast internet, no matter where they live.”