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BDUK gets superfast broadband to 6,000 homes for every million spent

Thursday, May 14th 2015 by Dean Reilly

The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme has made superfast broadband available to around 6,000 homes and businesses for every £1m spent, a report has revealed.

The ‘Broadband Performance Indicator – March 2015’ release from BDUK shows that, on average, the programme has passed 6,837 premises per £1m of expenditure.

Cumulative BDUK spending to the end of March 2015 was an estimated £352,718,218, with 2,411,395 premises gaining access to a superfast broadband service as a direct result of BDUK-supported projects.

Superfast broadband is defined by BDUK as an internet connection with speeds of at least 24Mbps, with the figures measuring how many premises have the option of connecting to the internet in this way rather than the actual number that have taken up a connection.

The number of premises BDUK passed per £1m spent has fluctuated over the duration of the project.

In the early stages of the superfast broadband rollout, only 254 premises could benefit from a BDUK-supported connection. As a result, the number of homes reached by the first million of expenditure equated to just 584.

The number of premises covered by subsequent million pound investments rose over the following four quarters, from 2,459 by the end of March 2013 to 19,301 by the end of December 2013.

Superfast broadband programme

The figures for the first quarter of 2014 showed a large drop to 8,685 premises per million spent, peaked at 13,870 for the quarter ending September 2014, and fell again to 7,999 for the most recently published data.

The expenditure figures published by BDUK do not include any investment made in support of the Connection Vouchers scheme, the Mobile Infrastructure Project, the Rural Communities Broadband Fund, the Market Test Pilots or general DCMS administrative spending.

Cable.co.uk has been following the rollout of the BDUK superfast broadband programme, most recently reporting on new connections in Lancashire, 30,000 new premises being passed in Shropshire, and the end of the first phase of Hampshire’s rollout.

BDUK chief executive Chris Townsend previously told Cable.co.uk that he expected the take-up of superfast broadband to exceed 30% by 2017, in spite of connections being available to 95% of the UK.

Speaking in January, he said: “If we carry on at the rate of increase I expect take up to be beyond the 30% figure across the areas where BDUK has invested money.”

BDUK manages the current UK superfast broadband programme, with local authorities and devolved administrations taking responsibility for individual projects.

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