Grant Shapps – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Grant Shapps on 2016-01-29.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many residences classified as social housing (a) do not have access to superfast broadband, (b) have connections slower than 10 Mbit/s and (c) have connections slower than 2Mbit/s; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Edward Vaizey

The Government is on target to deliver access to superfast broadband for 95% of all UK premises – including social housing – by December 2017, and to extend coverage beyond that as far as possible. We do not hold a breakdown of this information by housing tenure centrally, however this investment is benefiting all types of housing, as well as businesses, and we are proud to be delivering on this critical piece of infrastructure as set out in our manifesto.

Currently, superfast broadband is available to almost 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK – up from 45 per cent in 2010. Around 5 per cent of UK homes and business are currently experiencing connection speeds below 10 Mbit/s.

Having reduced the proportion of all UK premises with speeds less than 2 Mbit/s substantially from 11% in 2010 to around 1% in December last year, we have now implemented our commitment of having at least 2 Mbit/s per second basic broadband available to all homes and businesses.

All premises which are not currently scheduled to get an increase in speed to at least this level are eligible for a subsidised satellite broadband service that can deliver speeds of 10Mbps or more.

The Prime Minister has also announced the Government’s intention to implement a new broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) which is set at 10 Mbit/s. This new broadband USO will give people the legal right to request an affordable broadband connection, at a reasonable cost threshold, no matter where they live. We will be consulting on these proposals shortly.