Broadband: Dartford

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered at on 2 May 2023.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to help improve broadband infrastructure in Dartford constituency.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

I am pleased to share that more than 98% of premises in Dartford can already access a superfast broadband connection and almost 81% have access to a gigabit-capable connection. Both of these figures are above the national average. Across the UK, over 75% of UK premises now have access to a gigabit-capable broadband connection, which is a significant increase from just 6% in January 2019.

The Government is committed to working with broadband suppliers to ensure 85% of UK premises can access gigabit-capable broadband by 2025, and then for nationwide coverage by 2030. We are on track to achieve our target.

As part of Project Gigabit, the Government’s £5 billion mission to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband across the UK, we have begun launching procurements that give subsidies to broadband suppliers to build gigabit-capable infrastructure to premises that will not be reached by suppliers’ commercial plans alone.

In December 2022, we launched a procurement covering Kent, which will improve broadband connectivity for up to 72,000 premises, including many in Dartford. We currently aim to award a contract to the successful supplier later this year.

Constituents in Dartford have also made good use of the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme which provides a subsidy of up to £4,500 for residents and businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband. More than 85 premises in Dartford have received a fast, reliable connection through the voucher scheme, worth over £190,000.

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