Last week Ofcom published a report which was headlined Digital divide declines, but 1.4 million homes cannot get decent broadband. Please note that 'decent' is judged to be 10Mbps or better. Today the government announced a new plan to address the largely rural area focussed lagging behind in broadband speeds.
The government has found £440m available from efficiency savings and returned subsidies. According to a statement from The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) the money will help homes and businesses in the "hardest-to-reach" parts of the UK to get decent minimum broadband speeds. Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, said that the funds would be sufficient to "benefit around 600,000 extra premises," and provide access to superfast broadband of up to 24Mbps.
That target level of broadband speeds is expected to be enough for a typical family to watch TV on multiple devices at the same time and/or let children do their homework online, while other family members indulge in inline shopping and banking. These services are "at the heart of modern life," said the government.
Bradley added that broadband speed uplifts are also reliant upon the people signing up to the fastest services. "Increasing take-up is a win-win-win: consumers get a better service, it encourages providers to invest, and when more people sign up in BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK programme) areas, money is clawed back to pay for more connections," explained the culture secretary.