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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 31st July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Mendelsohn Lord Mendelsohn Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Spokesperson (International Trade)

Her Majesty's Government whether they will match the EU Digital Agenda commitment, as made by 25 out of 27 other EU member states, to achieve 30 megabit broadband for all homes and businesses by 2020 and at least 50 per cent take-up of 100 megabit broadband.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Digital connectivity is a clear priority for this Government, and we compare well to other EU countries. BDUK’s Superfast programme will provide at least 24 Megabits per second (Mbps) coverage to 95% of the UK by the end of this year. According to the latest data, published on thinkbroadband.com, UK coverage at 30Mbps is 92.6%.

The European Commission, in their 2017 report "Europe's Digital Progress", state that the EU average for 30Mbps coverage is just 76%.

In terms of 100Mbps coverage, thinkbroadband report that for the UK this currently stands at 52.8%. We are keen to ensure even better digital connectivity in the UK, and we announced a package of measures worth £1.1 billion at Autumn Statement 2016 to support this:

  • The Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, which was launched on 3 July and will provide finance for new fibre investments.
  • The Local Full Fibre Networks programme, which will support local bodies in stimulating the market for fibre connectivity in their areas.
  • A Bill to enable business rates relief for new fibre build.

Together, these investments and incentives will stimulate the market to deliver the increase in capacity that is needed.

Homes and businesses across the UK could - if they chose - upgrade to at least superfast speeds. Anyone can check what speeds are available to them by entering their postcode at http://gosuperfastchecker.culture.gov.uk.

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