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.