The government claims its rollout of superfast broadband across the UK has now reached more than 1.5 million premises and reaches an additional 40,000 each week.
Under its Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, Whitehall is aiming to supply 95% of the country with superfast – speeds of 2Mbps or more – broadband by 2017.
“I’m delighted that the project has now reached more than 1.5 million homes and businesses, giving people much faster and reliable connections,” claimed Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.
“We know how important superfast broadband is to everyone, which is exactly why we are investing £1.7bn in this remarkable project.
“Our transformation of the UK’s digital landscape is progressing at an incredible rate and delivering a tremendous boost to the nation’s economy,” he added.
In the UK, 26% of connections are now superfast, up from just 6% two years ago.
The government claims households are now seeing benefits such as the ability to use multiple devices at once with no drop in quality of service, work from home, keep in touch with friends and family and upload digital content to websites.
Whitehall claims delivering this connectivity is part of its long-term economic plan and how now reached the fastest stage of deployment, with 44 projects within the scheme operating ahead of schedule.
“Reaching one and a half million premises ahead of schedule is a fantastic achievement, but there’s still more to do,” claimed Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT.
“The fibre broadband rollout is bringing really positive social and economic benefits to people all over the UK and this programme is a great example of successful partnership between the private sector and local and national government.
“BT is investing more than £3bn of our shareholders money to plan, design and build a national network that reaches as many homes and businesses as possible.
“We have already reached 21 million premises and our engineers will continue working flat-out to get this technology to some of Britain’s hardest to reach communities,” he added.
To date, BT has rolled out more than 25,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cabling – or, about 25 times the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
The telecoms giant claims there are now 8500 street cabinets in hundreds of rural towns and villages throughout the UK which were previously stuck with slow speeds and unreliable connections.
Average speed of broadband in the UK has quadrupled since 2010, from 5.2Mbps to 18.7Mbps, suggesting the government is well on track to meet its targets by 2017.