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£5 billion broadband upgrade to benefit two million rural homes and businesses


A new £5 billion plan to improve internet access across the UK will see millions of people in rural parts of England getting access to the fastest broadband speeds currently available on the market.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said that the Project Gigabit fund will “accelerate the country’s recovery from covid, fire up high-growth sectors such as tech and the creative industries, put an end to families battling for bandwidth and bring the speed and reliability people need to start and run businesses.”

Details of the project show that 1,850,000 more premises across 26 counties in England will get access to internet speeds of 1,000 megabits per second - enough speed to handle 8K video streaming.

The announcement now brings the overall number of premises to be given government-funded coverage to 2.2million, with many more still yet to be announced over the next year.

The government initiative, along with commercial rollouts, have increased the number of premises with ultrafast broadband from one in ten in 2019, to two in five today.

The government is now also on track to achieve its goal of over 85% gigabit-capable coverage across the UK by 2025.

Oliver Dowden, Digital Secretary, said: “Project Gigabit is our national mission to level up rural areas by giving them the fastest internet speeds on the market.

“Millions more rural homes and businesses will now be lifted out of the digital slow lane thanks to our mammoth £5 billion investment and one of the quickest rollouts in Europe.

“This broadband revolution will create jobs, power up businesses and allow everyone to access vital services at lightning fast speed, helping us build back better from the pandemic.”

The first stage of the Project Gigabit rollout is expected to commence from May 2022 with 350,000 premises across the nation.

Steve Barclay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The pandemic has seen more services offered online and more businesses and consumers wanting to use online services, in particular from home.

“This announcement enabling over 2m homes to have the fastest internet services will make a real difference to those businesses and consumers wanting to maximise the benefits of digital services.”

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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