77% of UK can now access gigabit broadband 

Government’s latest progress update reveals 65% availability in Wales, 68% in Scotland, 75% in England and 90% in Northern Ireland. 

The quarterly progress update on the government’s Project Gigabit provides plenty of revealing insights into the programme to provide us all with lightning-fast broadband. Perhaps most striking are the disparities in infrastructure experienced in different nations of the UK.  

blue and white light illustration

Photo by Compare Fibre

The data was sourced from independent website in September 2023. 

It’s worth drilling into the figures for each nation. For example, Although Wales currently has the least availability of gigabit-speed connections, the figure of 65% is a significant increase on the 61% seen in the last update. 

What’s more, there’s obviously been better progress made in urban areas, where more premises can be connected at once. For example, in Northern Ireland a massive 93% of urban premises have access to full-fibre connections and 95% have access to gigabit-speed connections. The picture is very different in England where just 51% of urban premises have access to full-fibre but 80% can now access gigabit.  

There are also figures for rural premises. Again, Northern Ireland leads with 78% of rural premises able to connect to both full-fibre and gigabit-speed connections. In England, just 38% of rural premises can access full-fibre and 40% gigabit – figures that compare to Wales on 37% and 38% respectively.  

The government is well aware of the challenge and the update provides details of the more than £2bn provided to deploy gigabit-capable broadband to some 1.1m premises in hard-to-reach areas across the UK.  

In her foreword to the update, Michelle Donelan MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, says: ‘We can reflect with pride on progress made. But I know there is plenty more hard work to do for the remainder of 2023, with multiple contracts in the pipeline and installation work progressing from Cornwall to Teesdale. There is no time to rest on our laurels – in many ways, the hard work is still to come.’ 

She also cites, as an example of the good work being done to improve the national infrastructure so important to our modern lives, the story we reported on recently, as telecoms apprenticeships in Cumbria begin government-funded training. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top