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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 24th February 2020.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, North East Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve broadband coverage in North East Bedfordshire constituency.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The government has made significant progress in North East Bedfordshire, with over £8 million of central government funding allocated to the Bedford and Milton Keynes project area. As a result, 95.9% of premises now have access to superfast broadband - up from 54.3% in February 2012.

There are a range of options available to those in North East Bedfordshire suffering from slow speeds. The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is available to those who are not due to receive an upgrade from a publicly funded rollout programme. Small to medium sized businesses can claim a voucher worth up to £2,500, and residents can claim a voucher worth up to £500 as part of a group project to offset the costs of installing gigabit-capable infrastructure. Increased funding is available to rural premises.

In addition to this, the government has pledged £5 billion to deliver gigabit-capable broadband to the most difficult to reach areas of the UK.

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