£440m bid to boost broadband speeds

UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley

The UK government announced what it called “a £440 million broadband boost to benefit more than half a million premises” including £18 million of investment to connect more Scottish homes and businesses.

The £440 million windfall will help up to 600,000 extra British homes and businesses get superfast broadband under the UK government’s scheme.

“Funding has been unlocked to give more properties in the hardest-to-reach parts of the UK the quick and reliable internet connections which are a vital part of modern life,” said the UK government.

“The cash boost is a combination of efficiency savings and a clawback mechanism which re-invests money when people take up superfast connections installed by the Broadband Delivery UK project.

“New figures show around 1.5 million homes and businesses have now taken advantage and signed up for superfast connections in areas where Government has subsidised rollout.

“As a result,  BT will be releasing £292 million for extra connections — with £133 million already allocated to be spent in regions around the UK.

“Careful contract management by the government, local authorities and BT has also saved more than £150 million across 44 projects as the first phase of rollout draws to a close.

“It means a total of £442 million can now be reinvested in taking superfast speeds to some of the most remote parts of the country.”

UK culture secretary Karen Bradley said: “Our Broadband Delivery UK programme is giving families and businesses in hard-to-reach areas the fast and reliable internet connections which are increasingly at the heart of modern life.

“Strong take-up and robust value-for-money measures mean £440 million will be available for reinvestment where it matters — putting more connections in the ground.”

UK government minister for Scotland Andrew Dunlop said: “Good connectivity is essential for the way we live our lives — whether that is doing business, teaching our children, or paying our bills.

“The UK Government is committed to delivering faster, better broadband for Scotland, and this extra £18 million of investment will connect even more Scottish homes and businesses.

“It is imperative Scotland gets the technology it needs for the future, which is why the UK government has already spent £120 million rolling out reliable broadband across Scotland, supporting families and helping businesses thrive.”