The UK's connectivity is only getting better. Check out these confirmed boosts to British broadband that we can expect to see in 2017.
Broadband was a word on every Brit’s lips in 2016, with everyone from Ofcom to the Prime Minister questioning how we can improve coverage and speeds across the UK.
Earlier this year the Advertising Standards Authority called out major broadband suppliers for misleading price plans, while in August the Local Government Association urged the government to uphold every UK citizen’s right to a minimum download speed of 10Mbps.
The Autumn Statement proposed a budget of almost £1bn toward catching up in the race for universal fibre-optic broadband. Meanwhile, Theresa May and MPs challenged BT to invest more in making Openreach available in rural areas.
Talk is powerful, but how soon can we expect to see action? With a bold new year ahead, many of us are left wondering whether we’ll see any proof of these pledges.
Here are a couple of confirmed boosts to British broadband that we can expect to see rolled out within the next year.
Funding for remote coverage
The government are already making good on their plans to connect more remote areas of the UK, with £440m pledged toward making superfast internet available in rural communities.
The money is part of the government’s flagship broadband rollout scheme, and has been raised in part from returned subsidies after a 2010 agreement over areas deemed ‘too remote’ for superfast broadband by BT.
The deal stated that if more than 20% of properties in these areas bought superfast broadband, then BT would repay the government some of the money raised to supply them.
Predictably, around 30% of properties took up superfast broadband, leading to a total repayment of around £292m.
This money will now be used by the government to supply around 600,000 more homes and businesses with superfast broadband.
Churches to the rescue
We know that many small villages in Britain don’t have reliable broadband - but what do they have? How about church towers?
The Church of England has offered use of up to 16,000 church spires to help the government roll out superfast broadband in remote areas. Broadband satellite dishes will be attached to churches in areas where it’s impossible to deliver broadband by cable.
So far, the plan has been met with approval from church and government representatives in turn, with plans going through to designate a legal, low-cost procedure for dioceses around the UK to install their own satellites.
With the chair of the Church Buildings Council confirming that the Church is ready to connect communities in any way they can, we may see the first church-boosted broadband early this year!
A positive start
These snippets of broadband news are a pretty good indicator that Britain’s taking connectivity seriously. Who knows where we’ll be by this time next year? All we can say for sure is that we’ll be championing your right to the broadband speeds you need with affordable superfast and fibre optic packages.