80% of the country now has access to high-speed internet connectivity as the UK’s next major connectivity milestone is reached.
Thanks to the hard work of the telecoms industry and UK government action, gigabit coverage across the UK has increased rapidly in recent years – from one in ten households in 2019 to eight in ten today.
This means the majority of premises can access gigabit-capable networks, up from just 6% in January 2019. This is a significant improvement in such a short timeframe and means the UK is currently building gigabit networks faster than any EU country.
Gigabit broadband represents a connectivity revolution, with download speeds of around 1000mbps allowing people to stream, download, and shop online across several devices at once.
Better connectivity will boost productivity for businesses, unlocking new digital opportunities for people in every corner of the country, directly contributing to the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the economy.
The UK government is working with broadband suppliers to achieve at least 85% gigabit coverage of the UK by 2025, and then nationwide coverage by 2030.
The commercial rollout of gigabit broadband is key. Whether it’s through changes to legislation, or setting the right investment environment, the UK government is making it as easy and attractive as possible for firms to build their networks here in the UK.
There is now a market of over 100 providers investing more than £40 billion to roll out gigabit-capable broadband across the UK. This approach is the fastest and best value for the taxpayer, allowing government funding to be focused on the harder-to-reach areas.
Last year, the government committed more than half a billion pounds to boost broadband to more than 330,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses.
Areas already benefiting from this rollout in 2023 include Shropshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hampshire, New Forest, Oxfordshire, North East Staffordshire, and Derbyshire.
The government’s most recent progress update published in December shows that more than 929,000 hard-to-reach premises have already got access to fast and reliable gigabit broadband as a result of government support.
The UK is rapidly closing in on one million premises being able to benefit from the fastest speeds on the market for generations to come thanks to UK government investment.
The Government has also recently announced a new charter with telecoms firms to protect vulnerable customers as the UK’s phone lines are upgraded to a new, digital network.
Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said, “This is another giant leap forward in our mission to bring gigabit connectivity to every part of the UK, with 80% of the country now able to benefit from lightning-fast broadband.
“Access to gigabit speeds does not just mean being able to seamlessly stream films, TV shows, and shop online all at once. It means better productivity for businesses and new opportunities for local communities with digital infrastructure which will help power our economy, create jobs and improve lives for decades to come.”