Today, a new £5 billion ‘Project Gigabit’ has been announced to help reach over 1 million houses, businesses and public buildings with fast broadband.
The first to benefit are homes in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Tees Valley. However, in June it is expected that Hampshire will be part of the new procurements, as well as Norfolk, Shropshire, Suffolk and the Isle of Wight.
The government-funded projects will help increase the available speed for houses that have a history of poor connectivity to 1,000 megabits or one gigabit per second. The UK currently is on track for one of the fastest gigabit broadband rollouts in Europe, as by the end of 2021 half of all households will have access to gigabit speeds.
Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, commented:
“I am pleased to hear that Hampshire should be in the next cohorts of procurements, ensuring that hard to reach houses benefit from faster broadband.
“The pandemic has shown just how important connectivity and fast broadband at home is, not only for businesses but for socialising with our loved ones online and entertainment.”
In addition, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is being relaunched – backed by £210 million – to help rural areas access financial help for broadband upgrades. On top of this, £110 million has been allocated to connect public sector buildings across the UK such as libraries, GP surgeries and schools.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“Project Gigabit is our national mission to plug in and power up every corner of the UK and get us gigafit for the future.
“We have already made rapid progress, with almost 40 percent of homes and businesses now able to access next-generation gigabit speeds, compared to just 9 percent in 2019. Now we are setting out our plans to invest £5 billion in remote and rural areas so that no one is left behind by the connectivity revolution.
“That means no more battling over the bandwidth, more freedom to live and work anywhere in the country, and tens of thousands of new jobs created as we deliver a game-changing infrastructure upgrade.”