BroadbandNetworks

Government Superfast Broadband Projects Connect 4.55m Properties

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Government nears the completion of BDUK and its 95 percent superfast broadband coverage target

More than 4.55 million premises have been connected to superfast broadband thanks to government-funded broadband programmes such as BDUK.

The pace of rollout has slowed in the past few months as projects work to connect properties in some of the most remote parts of the UK ahead of the planned target of 95 percent coverage by the end of this year.

Under BDUK, any central government funding received must be matched by the local authority, while BT, which has won nearly all of the cash available, has also invested significant amounts.

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BDUK broadband

Population coverage could reach 97 percent by the end of the decade as local authorities reinvest money returned by BT, which often refunds councils if adoption exceeds the figure quoted in its business case, into connecting more homes and businesses.

At present, the Openreach superfast broadband network reaches more than 26.5 million properties and BT is also offering to build 10Mbps for anyone in the UK who demands it rather than be subjected to the proposed universal service obligation (USO).

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Under BT’s proposals, Openreach will extend coverage using a mixture of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), fibre to the premise (FTTP) and fixed wireless access (FWA) technologies so 99 percent of the UK has access to 10Mbps by 2020. It is however likely most will enjoy significantly higher speeds.

BDUK has proved controversial however, with some calling it effectively state aid for BT, while others have criticised the use of FTTC as the dominant technology.

However Openreach is now turning its attention to ‘ultrafast’ broadband, which would be achieved through a combination of G.Fast, which speeds up copper connections, and FTTP.

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