Almost 93% coverage for better broadband in Northumberland

The figures are impressive, but rural areas still lag behind.
The figures are impressive, but rural areas still lag behind.

In Northumberland, 92.9 per cent of homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband, according to new figures.

Perhaps unsurprisngly in a large, rural county, this figure is lower than the average for England – 95.5 per cent.

But the North East as a whole is doing well with the highest coverage of any region – 97.2 per cent.

Figures published by www.thinkbroadband.com show that more than 19 out of 20 UK homes and businesses now have the opportunity to upgrade their internet connections to superfast speeds of 24 Mbps or faster – more than double what Ofcom advises is required by a typical family home.

Clearly these figures represent the overall spread and urban areas fare better than rural areas. The national figures show that the figure drops to 87.2 per cent of premises with access to superfast in rural areas and down to 77.8 per cent for what is termed deep rural.

Nonetheless, the Government has heralded the landmark as proof it has delivered on its manifesto commitment to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017.

The £1.7billion Government rollout of superfast broadband to areas deemed not commercially viable by industry has so far reached more than 4.5 million premises, the majority in rural areas.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Over the last five years, the Government’s rollout of superfast broadband has made superfast speeds a reality for more than 4.5 million homes and businesses who would otherwise have missed out.

“We’ve delivered on our commitment to reach 95 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK, but there’s still more to do in our work building a Britain that’s fit for the future.

“We’re reaching thousands more premises every single week, and the next commitment is to making affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband a legal right to everyone by 2020.”