One of the effects of the current crisis is more people than ever are working or studying from home. The internet has also enabled those isolating to stay in touch with family and friends and all of us to still access vital services. The need for fast and reliable broadband for all of our communities has never been clearer.
As set out in our 2019 manifesto the Government is committed to bringing full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025. This will also be crucial to our economic recovery – it will allow homes across the country to benefit from online services and for UK businesses to compete globally.
The Chancellor has pledged £5 billion to support the rollout of gigabit capable broadband in the hardest to reach areas of the country, which will be supported by new legislation to accelerate its delivery to millions of homes.
This legislation will build on the work that has been done to bring superfast broadband to over 96 per cent of the country. The Government has also introduced the Universal Service Obligation, which will entitle every home and business the right to request broadband access at a minimum speed of at least 10Mbps, subject to a reasonable cost threshold as set out in the USO legislation.
The Government has also announced it will legislate to ensure new build homes come with gigabit capable connections. To make sure developers are incentivised to follow the plans, Ministers have also secured commitments from network operators to work with housebuilders to provide gigabit capable connections in all new build developments across the UK. BT Openreach have also publicly committed to connect all new build developments over 20 premises for free, reducing this from their current offer of 30 premises.
Investing in our digital infrastructure will support jobs, boost growth and also support our climate change objectives by reducing carbon emissions, all while helping us stay connected as families and communities. I am proud of our progress and will continue to push for greater improvements in Runnymede and Weybridge and nationwide.