BT Openreach has yet to connect a million rural customers to superfast broadband under the Broadband Delivery for the UK (BDUK) scheme.
The Broadband Performance Indicator (BPI) June report, published by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) shows BT has reached 888,000 properties at a public cost of £72,437,233.
The number of properties gaining access to superfast broadband has gathered pace in 2014, as Openreach’s commercial rollout of the scheme came to an end and the company refocussed on BDUK areas.
The BPI report takes into account the number of premises covered every month per £million of broadband delivery programme expenditure up to June 2014, when the figure stood at 12,260.
The figures only take into account properties that are able to achieve broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above, but it plays a big part in measuring the success of BDUK’s rollout that aims to improve broadband speeds across the UK, putting a particular emphasis on boosting speeds in rural areas.
The report also excludes areas that already had an existing superfast connection installed by an alternative provider and also any FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) overlap areas.
BT Openreach has stepped up its rollout of superfast broadband recently with the support of local authorities, introducing schemes to connect remote areas including the Isles of Scilly and the Outer Hebrides.
The plan is to install cables under the sea to both island sets, allowing homes and businesses to achieve broadband speeds above and beyond 24Mbps, replacing current radio links which provide little better than dial-up speeds.
The need for BDUK was underlined today by new figures showing that 76 per cent of British adults use the internet every day – compared to just 35 per cent of us in 2006.
The Office for National Statistics Opinions and Lifestyle Survey found that while 84 per cent of British homes have internet access, there are still four million without it.
While half of the offline minority simply don’t want a connection, a third said they didn’t know how, and the rest complained that they can’t afford to join the information society.