Government Broadband's scope will be expanded with extra funds

The government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project might just be able to surpass its goal of providing superfast broadband to 95 per cent of premises as a result of local authorities under-spending during their rollouts of the new service.

The initial goal of BDUK was to provide faster broadband Internet to the more remote areas of the UK to ensure that all British Internet users had a connection fast enough to handle the more demanding amount of traffic used by websites today. Areas in which private companies would never consider investing were targeted by the project and it seems that these areas in particular may benefit from local authorities in other regions that under-spent a combined total of £150 million.

At last week's Connected Britain event in London, Chris Townsend, the CEO of BDUK said: “There was an undperspend of £150m against Phase 1 contracts, which is also coming back in. We hope that amount of money will give us at least one more percentage point [of coverage].”

BDUK will also be receiving some money back from BT which was often commissioned to deploy the cable that made the project possible. So far £129 million has gone back into the project and over £280 million will be available to invest into Phase 2 of BDUK.

So far the project has been a success and the rollout of superfast broadband in County Durham is seen as a major success story with that region going from 60 per cent superfast coverage to 98 per cent.

The county also saw the number of small businesses grow by 11 per cent and its unemployment rate drop from 8.4 per cent to 2.2 per cent as a result of the BDUK project.

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