Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt today revealed Northern Ireland’s share of the Government’s £530 million broadband investment fund.
The Northern Ireland Executive has already run an extensive programme to spread superfast broadband access across the country. This has provided 97 per cent of homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband.
The funding announced today will help take broadband to the premises not covered by the existing scheme.
Matching the investment will allow the Northern Ireland Executive to provide everyone with access to at least 2 Mbps broadband, and it is the Executive who will decide how to use this money.
Mr Hunt also announced the Government would look at holding a pilot in Northern Ireland to explore ways of taking superfast broadband to all homes and businesses.
He said: “Broadband is essential for economic growth and increasingly for our everyday lives. Our investment will help provide everyone with decent broadband access and ensure no-one is left behind in the digital age.”
Europe’s best broadband network
We want the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, with 90 per cent of homes and businesses in each local authority area having access to superfast broadband and for everyone in the UK to have access to at least 2Mbps.
The private sector on its own will take superfast broadband to around two-thirds of UK households and businesses. Public money is being used to help take broadband to the remaining one third by making it viable for business to invest.