Guidance

Broadband Delivery UK

Details of the plan to achieve a transformation in broadband in the UK

Overview

Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is delivering superfast broadband and local full fibre networks to the nation.

The Government:

  • is supporting investment to provide superfast broadband coverage to as many premises as possible beyond the 95% level achieved in December 2017
  • is also introducing a broadband Universal Service Obligation so that by 2020 everyone across the UK will have a clear, enforceable right to request high speed broadband
  • has provided access to basic broadband (2Mbps) for all for those who do not currently have coverage otherwise
  • is supporting investment to stimulate private investment in full fibre connections by 2021

Superfast Broadband Programme

The Government has ensured superfast broadband (speeds of 24Mbps or more) coverage for over 95% of UK premises and has provided universal access to basic broadband (speeds of at least 2Mbps).

You can check whether superfast broadband is available in your area using the superfast broadband postcode checker and find out more details about what is happening in your local area using our Google Map

If you have broadband access which is less than 2Mbps you can find out what options are available to you using the Basic Broadband Scheme postcode checker

More information on the Government’s approach to delivering superfast broadband is available in the UK Next Generation Network Infrastructure Deployment Plan.

BDUK Local Body Information Spreadsheet

Information and take-up data on all procurements on the Superfast Broadband Programme can be found in the spreadsheet below. The spreadsheet also contains links to gainshare consultations published by local broadband projects. Table of local broadband projects

Further information on State aid is explained on the State Aid Advice web pages.

Local Full Fibre Networks Programme

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 22 November 2017 that local bodies could start applying for funding from the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Challenge Fund. The aim of the fund is to help locally led projects across the UK leverage local and commercial investment in full fibre, which is the “gold standard” for fast and reliable broadband.

The LFFN Challenge Fund is part of the Government’s £740m National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to support the next generation of digital infrastructure. The Challenge Fund will periodically announce waves of funding available for local bodies to bid into, and bids will be selected on a competitive basis. The aim is to help deliver projects that can meet the objectives of the LFFN programme:

  • Stimulate more commercial investment to deliver more gigabit-capable connectivity

  • Directly maximise the availability and benefit of gigabit-capable broadband services to public sector, business and residential users

  • Improve commercial investment conditions in local areas.

The deadline for applications to the first wave of the Challenge Fund closed at 5pm on 26th January and the evaluation process is now underway. We expect to announce the results of our evaluation in March 2018.

We plan to open the next wave of the Challenge Fund during Summer 2018.

A number of projects are currently underway to test the delivery methods outlined in the Challenge Fund prospectus, including the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme market test.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme Market Test

In the following four UK areas, Government is testing a new Gigabit Voucher Scheme which will provide vouchers worth up to £3,000 to support the capital costs of getting new gigabit-capable connections for businesses.

  • Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
  • Bristol, with Bath and North East Somerset
  • Coventry and Warwickshire (North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick)
  • West Yorkshire and York (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield and York)

In the Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset area, we are also making vouchers worth up to £500 available to connect homes.

Guidance documents for suppliers and local bodies about the operation of the scheme are available on the scheme website.

700MHz Clearance Programme

The 700MHz clearance programme is a Government funded programme to clear airwaves in the 700MHz spectrum band, currently used for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and PMSE (Programme Makers and Special Events) services. Once cleared the airwaves will be available for future mobile broadband services. The changes will be rolled out across different regions nationally and the programme is due to be complete by the summer of 2020.

Current users of 700MHz spectrum, including viewers of Digital Terrestrial Television, will be impacted by clearance events. The majority of viewers will simply need to retune their TV equipment to continue to receive services. This clearance follows a successful trial in the Scottish Borders (at Selkirk). While most viewers are likely to find restoring their service relatively straightforward, additional support will be available for those who need it.

Benefits of broadband

Improved connectivity is revolutionising our quality of life, from how we work and how our children learn, to how we spend our leisure time, how we do our weekly shop, and how we engage with public services. Find out more about how broadband can benefit you. A detailed review of the economic impacts of broadband is available in our UK Broadband Impact Study.

European funding for broadband

BDUK acts as the Broadband Competence Office to provide assistance with European funding for broadband projects. This includes the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). These funds are administered by other government departments but BDUK can provide support to help.

Closed programmes

Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme

The Government’s Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme ran from December 2013 until October 2015. Over 50,000 vouchers for superfast broadband connections were issued to SMEs during the scheme, with 37,000 vouchers issued since April 2015 across 50 UK cities.

More information on the scheme and its benefits can be found on the Connection Vouchers website.

Mobile Infrastructure Project

The Government Mobile Infrastructure Project supported investment in mobile infrastructure to improve coverage for voice calls and text messages for the final 0.3-0.4% of UK premises that were unable to receive a service.

A detailed review of the Mobile Infrastructure Project is now available in our Impact and Benefits Report.

Market Test Pilots

The Government also supported seven Market Test Pilots to gain understanding of the challenges in rolling out superfast broadband to the hardest to reach areas of the UK.

Published 27 February 2013
Last updated 5 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated information on Superfast Broadband and LFFN
  2. Updated information on the Local Full Fibre Networks Programme.
  3. Updated to include information on the 700MHz Clearance Programme.
  4. Link added for Gigabit Voucher Scheme Local Body Information.
  5. Adding information about the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund Workshops.
  6. Local Full Fibre Networks programme has now launched the Challenge Fund.
  7. The Local Full Fibre Networks Gigabit Voucher Scheme Supplier & Package Registration Request site is now live.
  8. The Mobile Infrastructure Project Impact and Benefits report has been published.
  9. Update to include information on Local Full Fibre Networks
  10. Updated link
  11. Update to reflect changes following the end of the SuperConnected Cities Programme and closure of the Broadband Connection Voucher scheme.
  12. Updated project information for the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) portfolio.
  13. Removed 'Rural Community Broadband Fund Toolkit' as it is now redundant.
  14. Added updated version of State aid guidance technology guidelines.
  15. state aid documents added
  16. First published.