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UK quickens the pace of rural broadband rollout

Over a quarter of a million properties in rural parts of the UK now have access high-speed internet, according to latest figures published by the government.

Around 273,731 premises have access to superfast broadband, said the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). It said the figure, dated from 31 December last year, represented a significant acceleration of the programme. The figure was previously 111,968 at the end of September 2013.

The department said the £1.2 billion investment in getting superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the country by 2017 was “on track” and forecasted that more than 300,000 UK premises can now access superfast speeds because of the programme at present.

Approximately 1000 cabinets have “gone live” in areas around the UK and UK coverage of superfast broadband is already higher than Germany, Italy and Spain, and more than double that of France.

The DCMS said that the number of homes and premises gaining access is projected to increase from 10,000 per week to 40,000 per week by the summer this year.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said having superfast broadband is really important to people up and down the country whether they need it for work or simply to download music or films.

“These figures prove that there is now a real momentum with thousands of homes and businesses now getting access each week,” Miller said. “This is part of our long term economic plan and broadband will be instrumental in driving growth and boosting local economies throughout the UK.”

Image: BT

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