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BDUK Delivers Superfast Broadband To 3.84m Homes And Businesses

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 releases latest figures as BDUK edges it closer to 95 percent superfast broadband coverage by 2017

The government assisted rollout of superfast broadband has now directly connected 3.84 million homes that would not have otherwise been covered by commercial deployments, according to latest Whitehall figures.

Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has so far handed out £476.7 million to projects a figure which must be matched by local authorities, meaning 8,506 premises had been passed per £1 million spent at the end of March 2016.

This is up from the 3.63 million passed in December 2015 at a cost of £406.9 million – or 8,909 homes and businesses covered per £1 million.

BDUK coverage figures

packetfrontHowever the government says work is completed before cash is handed out and estimates the actual figure is £500.7 million, making it 7,671 properties passed per £1 million.

Overall the number of properties that can receive superfast broadband in the UK via the Openreach fibre network now stands at 25 million, or 85 percent of the UK.

The government has previously said it expects BDUK to pass four million properties ‘by the spring’, so the next update should reveal whether this has been achieved.

The government’s target is to reach 95 percent by 2017 and has just confirmed plans for a universal service obligation (USO) that would require anyone in the country to be able to request access to 10Mbps. However the most remote parts of the UK might have to contribute to the cost and the USO could be reviewed in the future as speed demands rise.

Other measures to improve access to ‘fast’ and ‘superfast’ broadband include satellite voucher initiatives. As of April 2016, the ‘supplementary’ scheme had received 2,500 applications and £103,000 has been handed out. In total, £60 million has been allocated by government.

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