Lightning-fast Gigabit connectivity reaches 80% of UK
80% of the United Kingdom now enjoys access to high-speed Internet connectivity, marking a crucial milestone in the nation's digital infrastructure development. This achievement is the result of concerted efforts by the telecoms industry and proactive government initiatives.
As of 2023, a substantial leap from just one in ten households in 2019, eight in ten UK households can now connect to gigabit-capable networks. This rapid expansion, from a mere 6% coverage in January 2019, positions the UK as the fastest gigabit network builder in the European Union.
Gigabit broadband, offering download speeds of approximately 1,000Mbps, is revolutionising connectivity. It facilitates seamless streaming, downloading, and online shopping across multiple devices simultaneously. This enhanced connectivity is not only a boon for households but also a catalyst for business productivity, unlocking a myriad of digital opportunities across the UK. It aligns directly with the Prime Minister's objective of economic growth.
The UK government's strategy is focused on achieving at least 85% gigabit coverage by 2025, with a vision for nationwide coverage by 2030. Central to this plan is the commercial rollout of gigabit broadband. Through legislative changes and creating favourable investment environments, the government is incentivising firms to expand their networks within the UK.
Over 100 providers are currently investing upwards of £40 billion in deploying gigabit-capable broadband nationwide. This market-driven approach ensures the best value for taxpayers, allowing government funds to be channelled towards extending connectivity to more challenging, remote areas.
In the past year, the government committed over £500 million to enhance broadband access in over 330,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses. Regions such as Shropshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and several others are already reaping the benefits of this initiative.
The latest progress report from December reveals that government support has enabled more than 929,000 hard-to-reach premises to access fast and reliable gigabit broadband. This progress signifies the UK's rapid approach towards connecting one million premises with the fastest Internet speeds available, ensuring a lasting digital legacy for generations to come.
In addition to expanding coverage, the UK government has recently announced a new charter with telecoms firms. This initiative aims to safeguard vulnerable customers as the nation transitions to an upgraded, digital network. This collaborative effort underscores the commitment to inclusive digital advancement, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital revolution.
Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan remarked on this milestone, stating: “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.”