To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what timeframe he plans for the rollout of superfast broadband and improved broadband connection speeds throughout the Liverpool area to help support business recovery as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased and as part of the Government's levelling up agenda.
Earlier Superfast contracts took place across Merseyside and were completed fully in March 2019. Across the two phases of the contract, 43,966 premises were connected to Superfast broadband.
Building Digital UK is looking at how to improve levels of gigabit-capable broadband across the UK, and has split the Project Gigabit programme into three phases of delivery. The programme will carry out a national Open Market Review with telecommunications providers across the country to establish which premises will not be covered by commercial plans for gigabit-capable broadband rollout in the coming 3 years. Merseyside and Greater Manchester are currently allocated as a single lot as part of the third phase of rollout which is expected to commence in 2022. At this stage, we will work with the local bodies in that region to highlight communities which require improved connectivity and the appropriate procurement processes for ensuring this takes place.
Furthermore, due to Liverpool’s location, it benefits from a large amount of commercial investment from telecommunications providers. BDUK will be working over the coming months to establish which specific premises are excluded from these plans, and how these can be specifically addressed as part of Project Gigabit.
Statistics according to Thinkbroadband which also takes into account the commercial build undertaken by suppliers are:
Gigabit-capable broadband (>1000mbps)