Huge increase in 'super fast' broadband cover
Data from communications regulator Ofcom show that, as of January, 58,306 properties – 77% of the area – could access “ultrafast” broadband, with speeds of 300mb/s or more.
Five years ago there were none with access to it.
High-speed internet is a key part of the Government’s “levelling-up” agenda – promising gigabit broadband, with download speeds of 1000mb/s, would be made available to 85% of the population by 2025, with full coverage by 2030.
Despite this, the same data shows across the country there were still thousands of properties below the minimum standard for "decent" broadband as of January.
Since March 2020, broadband providers have been required to meet a “universal service obligation”, meaning everyone has the legal right to a “decent, affordable” connection.
If customers cannot access internet at this speed, they can ask their local network provider to set up a connection – although internet providers are excused if the cost to them is over £3,400.
Ofcom said while new fibre-optic broadband had improved internet speeds for millions, some remain at risk of being left behind.
A spokesperson said: “Some homes in hard-to-reach areas still struggle to get decent broadband, so there’s more work to do to make sure these communities get the connections they need.”
Across the North East, 1,794 homes were below the minimum standard for broadband speed.
Ofcom's figures show 66% of the UK could access gigabit broadband as of January.