Superfast broadband is to become more accessible for some of the UK’s hardest to reach rural locations, with local projects to get additional funding of GBP250m from the government, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announced on Tuesday.
The extra funding for a nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has been granted to help new businesses and create jobs in rural areas around the UK. As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, this financial support is in addition to GBP1.2bn that has already invested by central and local government. The government’s investment in superfast broadband is expected to improve the productivity of broadband enabled firms and will also ensure that access to the technology is provided to 95% of UK homes and businesses by 2017.
According to the DCMS, the current rural programme represents tremendous value for money, with a return of GBP20 expected for every GBP1 invested.
In addition, local economies will benefit from a GBP1.5bn boost as a result of the work involved in the current roll out and approximately 35,000 job-years will be created or safeguarded over the period to 2016. The government also anticipates that around 56,000 jobs will be created by faster broadband in the UK by 2024, when the current investment in superfast broadband is expected to increase rural economies by GBP275m per month or around GBP9m each day.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller commented:
“Superfast Broadband will benefit everyone – whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films. We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband, and the extra GBP250m we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane.”