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UK government congratulates itself over gigabit broadband rollout

Half a million UK premises now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, which leaves only 27 million to go.

The UK government’s need to derive political capital from every incremental gain made by the telecoms industry is showing no sign of abating. The latest achievement the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is cozying up to is the milestone of 500,000 UK premises (households and small businesses) connected to ‘gigabit-capable’ broadband.

This seems to be how the government is now referring to fibre, presumably because some focus group or other concluded it was easier for the UK population to understand. Since there are at least 27.5 million households in the UK, this milestone is still near the start of the gigabit-capable road, but that’s not about to stop the DCMS.

”It’s fantastic to see so many people getting access to gigabit speed broadband,” said Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman. “This is thanks to our investment alongside the sterling work of industry.

“Today I urge people in rural communities in the digital slow lane to apply for the immediate financial help available so they can seize the benefits of better connectivity – from making work easier to catching up with family and friends. I am also launching a new drive with business and consumer champions to make more people aware of just how beneficial better, faster broadband can be.”

Warman is referring to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which will contribute to the cost of getting rural locations connected, since providers won’t go near them for free. The other thing is the Gigabit Take-Up Advisory Group (GigaTAG), which will encourage people who already have access to gigabit broadband to actually use it. Why Warman thinks this group will succeed where the providers who stand to profit from upselling have failed is anyone’s guess.

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