On 8 September 2020, the Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman MP, answered a written question on what the Government is doing to ensure that superfast broadband is available across the UK.
His answer can be read in full below:
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8 September 2020
Jonathan Lord: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that superfast broadband is available throughout the UK.
Matt Warman: The government has invested significant amounts in digital infrastructure over the last decade, with the BDUK Superfast programme investing over £1.8 billion of public money to ensure over 96% of UK premises have access to superfast broadband. In addition to this, nearly £900 million has been allocated to stimulate the market to start building gigabit-capable infrastructure and full fibre connectivity.
For those premises that are still struggling with slow speeds, there are a number of options available to them. DCMS runs a voucher scheme that can be used by rural communities across the UK to reduce the cost of installing gigabit-capable connectivity. This provides a voucher worth up to £3,500 for eligible small businesses and vouchers worth up to £1,500 for residents. ‘Top-up’ schemes run by Local Authorities, who provide their own funding on top of DCMS’s, are also operating across the UK.
The government also introduced the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) on 20 March 2020. The USO gives eligible premises in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable connection. The government has defined decent broadband as a service that can provide a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps.