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Project Gigabit is failing Yorkshire and The Humber, analaysis shows

Project Gigabit

Less than 18 months from the Government’s target date to provide 85 per cent of properties with gigabit-capable broadband, analysis from National Broadband reveals that Project Gigabit funding is largely being spent on easier and cheaper to reach areas to reach this target.

Yorkshire is one of a number of regions and nations to have so far received zero Project Gigabit funding, according to the research.

Only one out of the ten local authorities with the worst broadband connectivity in the UK has to date received any funding from Project Gigabit. Moreover, 50 per cent of residential properties without access to the national minimum standard for broadband have yet to benefit from Project Gigabit funding. With fixed line broadband speeds below 10Mbit/s, these homes cannot perform even simple online tasks, such as video calling or streaming.

Despite some funding being distributed, there are significant disparities between regions. The South East and East of England have received over £250m each. This equates to the East of England receiving over £13,000 and the South East over £9,000 per property.

Yorkshire. The Humber and Lincolnshire on the other hand, with their vast swathes of rural land, are yet to receive any funding from the Project Gigabit pot.

Project Gigabit, has yet to allocate all of its £5bn budget. However its current progress highlights clear issues within its approach and its sole focus on full fibre broadband. Although, according to Ofcom, the Government is set to reach its target by 2025, this latest analysis shows that in order to reach this objective, in the majority of cases, it is applying funding to more densely populated areas that are easier and cheaper to provision.

David Hennell, director at National Broadband, commented: “There’s a growing disparity between digital haves and have nots in the UK and, as Project Gigabit fails to address more remote and more difficult to provision areas, this digital divide will only get worse. Far too many rural communities are still endlessly waiting on the distant promise of full fibre broadband – and yet the Government is failing to fund alternatives which exist today and which would immediately dramatically improve people’s connectivity at the fraction of the cost of fibre.”

National Broadband has launched a petition calling on the Government to fund alternative broadband solutions for poorly connected areas falling outside the scope of Project Gigabit.

National Broadband specialises in leveraging 4G and 5G technology to deliver fit-for-purpose broadband across the whole UK, with a particular focus on providing much-improved internet connections to more rurally located homes and businesses where fibre doesn’t reach.

Its study utilised and analysed data both from Ofcom’s Connected Nations report and through an FOI request submitted to DCMS (now DSIT) to reveal where Project Gigabit funding had been allocated and broadband availability across the UK.

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