Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has welcomed new figures that show the Government has delivered on its promise to extend superfast broadband to 95% of UK premises by the end of 2017. More than 19 out of every 20 UK homes and businesses can now upgrade their internet connections to superfast speeds of 24 Mbps or faster. The 95% figure is a UK average; 92% of homes and businesses in the South West now have access to superfast broadband, with Devon averaging 85%.

    Mr Stride said:

    “Real progress has been made in increasing superfast broadband access, particularly in rural areas, and in Central Devon coverage has increased to just over 75% - a big step forward for one of the largest and most rural constituencies in England. But there is much more to do and in some ways the Government’s next target – 100% coverage of high speed broadband (10Mbps) by 2020 – is even more important for residents in my constituency as this will tackle the hardest to reach properties, particularly across Dartmoor. I will be pressing to make sure this target is also delivered on time.”

    The Government has invested £1.7billion in subsiding the delivery of superfast broadband to areas deemed ‘not commercially viable’ by providers, reaching more than 4.5 million UK premises that would otherwise have been left behind. Closing of the ‘digital divide’ has delivered a significant boost to local economies - creating around 50,000 jobs and generating an additional £8.9 billion in turnover in the areas covered by the Government rollout between 2013 and 2016.