"Superfast broadband" expands to 5,000 more rural premises

By Danny Palmer
18 Dec 2013 View Comments
A view of UK countryside

Superfast broadband has expanded its reach into the countryside with what the government has dubbed "Super Switch-on Day".

An additional 5,000 homes and businesses in rural areas across Wiltshire & South Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent & Medway, Cheshire, the Cotswolds and Shropshire have been given access to superfast broadband. But despite the big government announcement, that averages out at just a few hundred premises per county.

Further reading

The rural broadband project has often been criticised for being more than £200m over budget and handing a monopoly to BT.

Nonetheless, the government aims to deliver "superfast broadband" to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017 as it looks to overhaul infrastructure and improve the way that small companies do business.

"We are now witnessing an incredible transformation of superfast broadband in Britain, and we are already well ahead of other major European countries in many respects," said Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller.

"We're determined to ensure that everyone benefits and that broadband is available in the very hardest to reach areas of Britain, making a real difference to people who live in these communities," she continued.

"Today's 'switch on' of cabinets across the country takes us yet another step closer to fulfilling our promise of giving superfast speeds to 95 per cent of Britain by 2017."

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson argued that the rollout of superfast broadband is helping to close the gap between rural and urban areas. 

"The rollout of superfast broadband has the potential to transform rural areas, bridging the age-old gap between rural and urban. It will allow businesses to grow and expand and communities to access services in a way that they've not been able to before," he said.

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