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Schools: Broadband

Question for Department for Education

UIN 62786, tabled on 25 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's press release of 14 October 2021, 1,000 schools connected to top-of-the-class full fibre broadband, how many schools will not have access to full-fibre gigabit broadband by 2025.

Answered on

2 November 2021

According to data from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), 3,835 schools are in postcodes that do not have access to full fibre or are currently not in areas of proposed commercial build within the next 5 years.

The government remains committed to investing £5 billion to bring gigabit coverage to the hardest to reach areas and will continue to work with suppliers to accelerate this investment, taking account of industry capacity to bid for, and deliver, contracts to build in uncommercial areas alongside their commercial plans. GigaHubs is one of the programmes DCMS is using to deliver the government ambition of gigabit capabilities across the UK by 2030. As part of the wider Project Gigabit, GigaHubs will use up to £110 million to connect public buildings such as rural schools, doctors’ surgeries and libraries to gigabit broadband. This will help GPs provide remote video consultations and allow whole classes of school children to be online, at once, with no interruptions. Around 2,000 schools are in scope of the Gigabit Hubs programme and so will have access to gigabit capable connectivity by 2025.

These figures do not account for schools that already have access to fibre through a private leased line arrangement to enable gigabit capable connectivity. These figures are also open to flux as commercial build plans evolve over time.