Broadband

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 28th July 2020.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for reaching the Government target of full fibre broadband for all people by 2025 of the provisions in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review; and whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of the wider proposals in that review.

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

The Government remains committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Over 3.5 million premises (or 12% of the UK) can access gigabit capable broadband according to the latest Ofcom figures, compared to 7% a year ago. Gigabit coverage is even higher at 20%, or one in five UK premises, as a result of Virgin Media’s upgrades of its existing cable network.

We support industry’s plans to deliver gigabit broadband to the most commercial parts of the UK (c.80% of the country) and will continue to take action to remove barriers to deployment to help them deliver this by 2025.

It will be more difficult to deliver gigabit connectivity to the hardest to reach 20% of the country by 2025. This is why we have committed a record £5 billion of capital funding to support deployment in these areas.

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