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Broadband: Finance

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 173007, tabled on 22 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate he has made of the funding from the public purse required to meet the Government's target of 85 per cent gigabit capable coverage by 2025.

Answered on

25 March 2021

We estimate that delivering nationwide gigabit capable connectivity will cost around £30 billion as set out in the 2018 Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, and the National Infrastructure Strategy in November 2020. The government’s market-led approach to delivery will ensure that the majority of this investment will come from the private sector, with 80% of the country connected without government subsidy.

The government is contributing £5 billion to that in order to cover some of the costs of deployment in the most expensive and hard-to-reach 20% of the country through Project Gigabit.

The government will also continue to implement an ambitious programme of work to remove barriers to broadband deployment.

DCMS has made significant progress to date with the support of the industry. 39% of premises can now access gigabit-capable broadband, and we expect that gigabit broadband coverage will reach at least 50% during 2021.

The Spending Review 2020 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spending-review-2020-documents/spending-review-2020#departmental-settlements) provides further details on our planned year on year capital spend of £1.2 billion from Project Gigabit within the period 2021-22 to 2024-25 in support of our target of reaching at least 85% gigabit capable coverage by 2025. DCMS continues to work closely with industry to progress this programme and our year on year rollout plans for these areas.

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