The announcement today by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury builds on the £1.2 billion programme of public investment already underway to transform broadband in the UK.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller welcomed the announcement and said:
Access to high speed connectivity is vital to the UK’s economic future, and drives growth and jobs across the country. Every week, 100,000 more homes and businesses are getting access to superfast broadband, and our broadband is already among the best in Europe when it comes to coverage, usage, and choice. But we want to go even further and that’s why we are now setting a new target to reach 95% of premises by 2017.
This money will help ensure those homes and businesses in the hardest-to-reach areas get access to superfast broadband, building economic prosperity and encouraging more social inclusion up and down the country.
The money will come from existing TV licence fee funds, and it’s expected that it will be match funded locally to bring the total extra public investment to £500 million.
DCMS’s core capital budget (what we pass on to our bodies in grants) was also announced today. As part of the drive across government to reduce the deficit, this has been reduced by 5% from 2014/15 to 2015/16. In difficult financial times, that is an extremely good result for DCMS and its bodies.
Read full details of today’s capital expenditure announcements for all Departments.
Today’s DCMS capital expenditure statement is in addition to the 2015/16 Spending Review resource allocation issued yesterday by Chancellor George Osborne.