BDUK reports underspend, will invest in rural broadband

The BDUK project has reported an underspend, allowing it to allocate funds into rural broadband.


The BDUK project has reported an underspend, allowing it to allocate funds into rural broadband. 

The Broadband Delivery UK program is being funded by the government and has used a number of providers to install cables, including Openreach and Gigaclear. 

Its aim is to provide 95% of the UK with superfast, fibre-optic broadband, which it is on track to accomplish by 2017.

Citizens living in the 5% the program won’t cover (namely rural and remote areas) have hit back at the scheme, claiming they will be left out.

However, an underspend in the project has recently been identified, with an estimated £150 million thought to be newly available. 

The government has claimed that this money will be reinvested into providing more remote areas that would usually be ignored with faster broadband.

Chief Executive of BDUK, Chris Townsend, claimed that these newly available funds would ensure “at least 1% more coverage”.

Premises in County Durham have been cited as success stories for broadband rollouts in rural areas.

Mr Townsend said that, over 3 years, coverage in Durham has risen from 60% to 98%, with 140,000 premises enjoying speeds of up to 24Mbps. 

He added that the improved broadband has decreased unemployment in the area from 8.4% to 2.2% 

Source: USwitch

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