Broadband: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 15th May 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to support the roll-out of superfast broadband to rural areas in response to the increase in remote working during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

Now, more than ever, it is important that people can get reliable connectivity to help them work. That is why the Government is working closely with the telecommunications industry to ensure that the roll out of digital infrastructure continues during the current pandemic and exploring what can be done to make the roll-out as rapid as possible. It is also why telecoms workers have been designated as 'key workers'

Given the current situation and guidance from Government regarding COVID-19 measures, Building Digital UK (BDUK) has been in contact with their key Superfast suppliers to understand what impact this might have on BDUK contracts, and what contingency measures are being put in place or being considered to be put in place as the situation develops.

Currently, on site work continues whilst observing the guidelines around social distancing. BDUK is aware that this situation could change and will update their plans accordingly, if necessary. This not only applies to the Superfast programme but also for the Local Full Fibre Networks and Rural Gigabit Connectivity programmes also.

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