Broadband: Somerton and Frome

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered on 16 May 2023.

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Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, how many and what proportion of households in Somerton and Frome constituency did not have access to fibre optic broadband on 1 May 2023.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

Currently, over 89% of premises in the Somerton and Frome constituency can access a superfast broadband connection. Over 51% have access to a gigabit-capable connection and 38% have fibre to the premises.

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 the coming months, we plan to launch a procurement that will improve broadband connectivity for premises in Somerton and Frome.

Constituents in Somerton and Frome have also made excellent 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 960 premises in Somerton and Frome have received a fast, reliable connection through the voucher scheme, worth over £1.5 million.

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