I have received the enclosed letter from the Minister about superfast broadband progress:
SUPERFAST BROADBAND PROGRESS
I am writing to update you on broadband delivery in your constituency. The government’s Superfast Broadband Programme has now provided coverage to over 4 million homes and businesses and figures show that superfast coverage now reaches around 91% of premises nationally.
As I set out in my recent speech to the World Broadband Forum, (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/broadband-world-forum), we recognise that there is more to be done to deliver the connectivity Britain needs and what consumers expect in this digitised age. We need the digital infrastructure that can support this: providing ubiquitous coverage so no one is left out, and with sufficient capacity to ensure data can flow at the volume, speed and reliability required to meet the demands of modern life. I look forward to working with you to make the hyper-connected Britain we all want to see.
We can all play a role by encouraging higher take up of superfast broadband in the nine out of ten homes where it is available. This enhances the case for further investment by suppliers. And for those areas covered by the Government-funded Superfast Broadband Programme, as a result of the contractual mechanisms, higher take up will result in additional funding being made available for additional investment locally. So I would urge you to encourage constituents who can do so to take up superfast broadband so that others may benefit.
Your constituency is located within the Berkshire project. The project has been allocated over £4.7m of government funding for Phase 1 and/or 2 of the Superfast Broadband Programme.
In Wokingham Constituency the BDUK scheme has made superfast broadband available to 4,147 more premises.
Average take up of superfast broadband in the BDUK Berkshire project area is 34.8%.
More broadly, the total superfast coverage – Government- and commercially-funded – in your constituency is 91.6%.
We estimate from the available supplier data that coverage will be around 98.4% by the end of June 2017.
You and your constituents can check the availability of superfast broadband services for specific homes and businesses at http://gosuperfastchecker.culture.gov.uk/ from where you will be directed to available superfast broadband providers. If you have any concerns about discrepancies with local coverage data, you may wish to follow up with your local project team. Further information is available via the project website at http://www.superfastberkshire.org.uk/. For those who cannot currently get superfast broadband, some providers provide a demand registration service where consumers can register their interest.
You might also like to note that the Digital Economy Bill, which includes measures enabling the introduction, and review, of a broadband Universal Service Obligation is now at Committee stage in the House of Commons. This is due to conclude next week and we expect Report and Third Reading to follow shortly after. As well as introducing a broadband USO, the Bill will also enable the building of world-class digital infrastructure, empower consumers to connect, reform the way government uses data to digitally deliver public services, strengthen protections for citizens in the digital world and pave the way for improved broadband in the future.
Minister for Digital and Culture