Gigabit Broadband Scheme Grows
UK Government's gigabit broadband deployment scheme almost passed the benchmark of half a million connected premises.
09:50 12 August 2020
The UK Government Gigabit Broadband Scheme is close to reaching half a million new premises benchmark, it has been confirmed. The scheme, which was launched in 2018 and backed by £1billion investment, aims to deliver nationwide gigabit-capable broadband by 2025.
Authorities agree that providing UK residents with fast and reliable internet connection service is key to revolutionise communities, make places more attractive to live in, help develop thriving digital economies and give people the freedom to live and work more flexibly especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019, newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised the introduction of new laws to accelerate the delivery of gigabit-capable broadband across the UK by 2025. A total £5bn fund was then included in the 2020 budget to confirm the government's commitment to fulfill its promise. It is also currently considering giving broadband firms access to more than a million kilometres of underground utility ducts to boost the roll-out of next-generation broadband.
To date, thousands of vouchers have been issued to rural homes and businesses in Somerset, Cumbria, Kent, Lancashire, Hampshire, West Yorkshire and Surrey. 50,000 additional premises will quality to the voucher scheme until March 2021 as confirmed by the UK and Welsh Governments. The scheme focuses on hard-to-reach rural areas because they are more unlikely to be connected through the commercial roll-out of gigabit networks.