The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has published a new report today dubbed ‘Broadband and the road to 5G’. In it, MPs have said that it would be unacceptable for the UK government to miss its target of bringing gigabit broadband to 85% of premises by 2025.
The report said that it was inevitable that the government would have to climb down from its previous 100% gigabit coverage by 2025 plans because they were simply unachievable. The report goes onto say that it will not be acceptable for the government to step back from one goal and still fail to meet its less ambitious target through a lack of effective planning or inadequate investment.
To ensure the plans don’t go off-track, the committee has asked the government for its response into the report and explain how it settled on bringing gigabit to 85% of premises, a full assessment of how likely it thinks the goals will be met, and details of how it plans to deliver it. Further, the committee wants the government to give a target date by which time the remaining 15% of premises should also be served with gigabit connectivity.
To coincide with the report, the government has launched a draft procurement strategy. It lays out plans to connect a million premises in the hardest to reach 20% of the UK by 2025 with gigabit broadband. Those premises, which do not have access to superfast broadband, will be prioritised and will see their speeds increase from 30 megabits per second to more than 1,000 megabits per second.