August 27, 2014 at 9:09 am
It has recently been announced that superfast broadband (i.e. at least 24 Mbps) has arrived in over a million homes and businesses across the UK. This is all part of a £1.7 billion Government initiative to secure Britain’s future in a long-term economic plan, by providing access to parts of the UK neglected by the private sector, in particular rural areas.
By 2017 it is hoped that 95% of all homes and businesses in the UK will have superfast broadband and, indeed, with the fibre-optic technology being rolled out at a rate of knots, up to 40,000 houses and premises per week are gaining access.
£1.7 billion of course sounds a vast sum of money but the financial pay-back is similarly huge. The current rural programme is expected to produce a twenty-fold return which represents excellent value.
Superfast broadband has benefits for both domestic and business users. For those accessing broadband at home it will be possible to download whole films more quickly, chat to friends and family using Skype and the like, and not experience the frustration of speeds dropping just because someone else in the home is using broadband at the same time.
For businesses, particularly in isolated communities, the benefits are huge, boosting profits and opening up markets. By 2024 the boost to rural economies is expected to be a staggering £9 million a day.
However, you may wonder what is happening about the 5% not covered by the Government’s plans. The good news is that an investment of £10 million has been made in pilot projects to work out the best way of helping homes and businesses in the most remote and hard-to-access parts of the UK.