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Government superfast broadband rollout reaches 2.5m homes

Monday, May 18th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

More than 2.5m homes and businesses can access superfast broadband thanks to the government’s £1.7bn investment programme.

Official statistics showed that as of 31 March, an additional 2,411,395 properties could access speeds of 24Mbps or faster.

With the project reaching an additional 40,000 premises each week, government officials say the 2.5m mark has been “well and truly passed” and is fast approaching three million.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale said: “Access to superfast speeds has never been more important, in both our home and working lives.

“The government’s rollout of superfast broadband will make sure that rural homes and businesses are not left behind and that the UK is properly equipped to meet the challenges of the digital age.

“Superfast broadband is currently available to more than 80% of homes and businesses in the UK – up from zero in 2009, and the government-funded rollout is on track to ensure 95% of the UK has access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.”

Digital minister Ed Vaizey said superfast broadband is being rolled out “at a terrific rate”, reaching 5,000 new homes and businesses every day.

“Many of the projects are ahead of schedule and we’re seeing more people upgrade to superfast broadband as it becomes available in their area.

'Huge boost'

“This huge boost to the UK’s connectivity is central to the government’s long-term economic plan, delivering a return of up to £20 for every pound invested.

“The UK already leads the EU ‘big five’ nations when it comes to superfast access and take-up, and the programme will help make sure it stays ahead.”

BT’s CEO Gavin Patterson said: “The roll out of fibre broadband in rural areas is getting stronger with every month that passes.

“Homes and businesses are benefiting across the UK as our engineers work tirelessly to connect them to superfast broadband.”

He said the superfast broadband programme is a critical project that will make a real difference to peoples’ live and to rural economies.

“Focus is now firmly placed on the hardest to reach areas that make up the ‘final 5%’ of the UK not covered by existing plans.

“The government has already begun work on extending superfast coverage to these communities.

“A series of pilot projects exploring how alternative technologies could be used to tackle these difficult areas is currently underway and government will publish the findings from the trials later this year.”

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