Broadband: Stoke on Trent

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

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking increase the availability of full fibre broadband in Stoke-on-Trent.

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

Good progress has been made in the Stoke-on-Trent North constituency, with over 99% of premises in the constituency able to access superfast broadband. This is up from 73% in March 2013. Gigabit-capable coverage in the constituency stands at 8%.

There is an active Local Full Fibre Network Project (LFFN) taking place in Stoke-on-Trent with around 110km of new fibre network being built with the aim of creating 100% city wide full fibre connectivity. DCMS have invested over £9 million into this project with a supplier also contributing. There is a video which gives an overview of this Government funded project in Stoke here:

On top of that, 25 premises took advantage of our recently closed Gigabit Voucher Scheme in the area.

For those premises that are still struggling with slow speeds, there are a number of options available to them. DCMS runs another voucher scheme that can be used by rural communities across the UK to reduce the cost of installing gigabit-capable connectivity. This provides a voucher worth up to £3,500 for eligible small businesses and vouchers worth up to £1,500 for residents. However, Staffordshire County Council have recently committed to “top up” these voucher values investing £1m of funding in addition to eligible funding from the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme. This means that in rural areas of Staffordshire, residents can get a voucher of up to £3,500 and small businesses a voucher of up to £5,500.

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