MSE News

First regions to get ultrafast broadband upgrades named - is your area on the list?

The first areas of the country to get an ultrafast broadband upgrade have been named, with work due to start next year. As many as 510,000 homes and businesses should initially benefit from the £5 billion upgrade with more regions to follow in future.

Broadband providers will be able to bid to carry out the work as part of the Government’s 'Project Gigabit' scheme from this spring, with “spades in the ground” expected in the first half of 2022, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said. 

Under the scheme, average broadband speeds are expected to rise from less than 30mb/s to 1gb/s. One gigabit (1gb/s) is the equivalent to 1,000 megabits (1mb/s), which is roughly what you'd need to download a high definition (HD) film in under a minute. See our Broadband Speed guide for tips on how to improve your broadband, including a free speed test. 

Areas getting the broadband upgrade include Cornwall and Cumbria

The first areas to benefit from the automatic upgrades, which will start next year, are as follows. But not every home in these regions will get the ultrafast broadband boost straight away, so you'll have to look out for further details this year on when you'll benefit. We'll have new information on our site as it comes available. The Government says it is working with the broadband industry to ensure a minimum of 85% of households have at least 1gb/s-capable coverage by 2025.

  • Cambridgeshire
  • Cornwall
  • Cumbria
  • Dorset
  • Durham
  • Essex
  • Northumberland
  • South Tyneside
  • Tees Valley

Following this rollout, the Government plans to connect up to 640,000 more premises to ultrafast broadband in the following areas. Further details on this rollout will be published in June.

  • Hampshire
  • Isle of Wight
  • Norfolk
  • Shropshire
  • Suffolk
  • Worcestershire

What does the Government say?

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Project Gigabit is our national mission to plug in and power up every corner of the UK and get us gigafit for the future.

"We have already made rapid progress, with almost 40% of homes and businesses now able to access next-generation gigabit speeds, compared to just 9% in 2019. Now we are setting out our plans to invest £5 billion in remote and rural areas so that no one is left behind by the connectivity revolution."

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