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To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate she has made of the number of households affected by broadband not-spots in each local authority area.
Almost every premise in the UK is able to get broadband through a fixed, wireless or satellite connection. However, a small minority of premises are unable to get a decent service, providing 10 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps upload speeds. In their latest Connected Nations report, Ofcom estimated that these premises numbered only around 155,000 and was likely to reduce further by March 2020, when the Government’s Broadband Universal Obligation (USO) will come into force. The USO gives households without a decent service a legal right to request one up to a Reasonable Cost Threshold of £3,400 per premise.
Alongside the USO, investment by Government and the commercial sector has ensured that superfast broadband, providing download speeds of at least 24 Mbps, is now available to 96% of UK premises, and that access to full fibre broadband has increased by 1.5 million premises over the past year and is now available to 10% of the UK. The Government is ambitious to go further and, as part of this, has committed £5 billion to subsidise the deployment of full fibre and gigabit broadband in less commercially viable areas.
Further information on broadband availability in each local authority area can be found on the Connected Nations section of Ofcom’s website.