Superfast broadband rollout hits 2 million UK homes & businesses

Broadband plugs

Two million homes and businesses now have access to internet services of at least 24Mbps, but there's still a way to go until all UK properties can take advantage of superfast broadband.

The figures, released by the government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport suggest the organisation is on target to ensure 95 per cent of the UK is covered by superfast broadband by 2017, with engineers working on getting the final five per cent of rural properties connected from today through the launch of seven pilot schemes.

Joe Garner, CEO of Openreach, BT's local network business, said: "We're proud to be delivering this great British success story in partnership with the government, and have committed up to 1 billion of our shareholders' money to the projects.

"The programme is on schedule overall and our people continue to work flat-out on connecting homes and business in the UK's hard-to-reach areas. If we come in under budget, savings can be reinvested to take coverage even further. Funds will also be released if take-up exceeds expectations, all of which is further great value for the taxpayer."

The UK currently leads the top five EU5 countries with the number of properties connected to superfast broadband following a 1.7bn investment and it's adding a further 40,000 properties to the list every week.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "This is a tremendous result that is already making a huge difference to millions of people. We want everyone in the UK to be able to enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, that's why we've begun work on reaching the last five per cent of communities not covered by existing plans."

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has predicted access to superfast broadband will result in the creation of 56,000 new jobs by 2024, adding 9 million a day to rural area economies.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.