The Government has allocated £530m to providing the UK with the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
“In defining ‘best’ you include factors like price and coverage as well as speed. But over the past two years it has become clear, as Usain Bolt wouldn't hesitate to say, to be the best you need to be the fastest.
“So I am today announcing an ambition to be not just the best, but specifically the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015. Indeed we may already be there.”
The market is expected to provide superfast broadband to around two thirds of the country. The Government is supporting the roll-out of superfast broadband in areas like rural Cumbria so that it will reach the third of UK homes and businesses who would otherwise miss out.
The UK has made good progress on internet speed:
- Average speed in the UK has increased by about 50 per cent since May 2010
- In the last year alone average speed increased from 7.6 Mbps to 9 Mbps, overtaking France and Germany so the UK now has the fastest broadband of any large European Country
- Two thirds of the population are now on packages of more than 10 Mbps, higher than anywhere in Europe except Portugal and Bulgaria
But the Culture Secretary added that we cannot afford to fall behind in providing high speed internet access: “We simply will not have a competitive broadband network unless we recognise the massive growth in demand for higher and higher speeds.”