Julia Lopez – 2022 Statement on Project Gigabit Update

The statement made by Julia Lopez, the Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, in the House of Commons on 9 February 2022.

Today we have published the fourth Project Gigabit quarterly update. Thanks to the work of industry and our record investment, we are making phenomenal progress delivering the biggest broadband rollout in UK history.

In this Project Gigabit delivery plan winter update, we share the news that over 65% of UK premises now have a gigabit-capable connection—a huge leap forwards from just over one in twenty in January 2019.

This delivery plan update also reports on:

newly launched regional supplier procurements in Cambridgeshire and the north-east of England, as well as local supplier procurements in rural Dorset, north Northumberland and Teesdale;

16 local and devolved authorities which currently have live schemes to top up our voucher projects worth £10.5 million;

details of upcoming procurements in Cornwall, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hampshire and Shropshire; and updates on how we are working closely with the devolved Governments to develop and deliver Project Gigabit plans in some of the hardest-to-reach areas in the UK.

Since the launch of Project Gigabit in April 2021, we have connected over 3,500 public sector building hubs: places like Borrowdale Primary School in Cumbria, which is now able to take full advantage of online learning while also speeding up connections to surrounding homes and businesses. We expect to connect a further 100 hubs over the next quarter.

To support this phenomenal progress, Building Digital UK (BDUK) will become an Executive agency of DCMS. BDUK will be based at a new head office in central Manchester, boosting the city’s credentials as a fast-growing digital tech hub.

This Government are supporting access to the internet of the future—building broadband that is fast, reliable and future-proof, that supports 5G, and that paves the way for new and unexpected developments in commerce, trade and technology.

I will place a copy of the Project Gigabit delivery plan winter update in the Libraries of both Houses.