Nearly two million households in rural parts of England were next identified for upgrading to superfast fiber broadband. The 1.8 million properties will be converted from aging copper cables to next-generation fiber broadband as part of the UK government’s £ 5 billion program to “level” the land.
The government-funded project, called Project Gigabit, aims to focus on areas with slow links that would otherwise be left behind by broadband companies due to the difficult (and high cost) of installing infrastructure. During his campaign, Boris Johnson had promised to provide gigabit-enabled broadband to every home in the UK by 2025, but this was quickly watered down when the moving trucks arrived at 10 Downing Street.
The latest update on Project Gigabit identified 1.85 million premises in 26 counties including Shropshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The new announcement comes after the first areas that should benefit from the upgrade were announced in March. Properties in Tees Valley, South Tyneside, Northumberland, Essex, Cornwall and Cambridgeshire have all been propelled at slow speeds.
The average broadband speed across the UK is 70 Mbps, as recorded earlier this year. It is one of the slowest in Western Europe. Compared to the rest of the world, data from Cable.co.uk shows we are 22nd on average speeds in the UK in 2021, behind Estonia, Bermuda, Malta, Aruba, Hungary and the Netherlands.
Liechtenstein and Jersey come first and second with average download speeds of 229.98 Mbit / s and 218 Mbit / s, respectively.
Gigabit broadband is capable of delivering download speeds of over 1,000 Mbit / s. At this speed, you can download a two-hour movie in seconds.
More importantly, for busy households with multiple people trying to stream movies, make video calls with work colleagues, back up their devices, or download huge files – like PlayStation 5 games or operating system updates – there is no decrease in peak hours of speed. As new emerging technologies like virtual reality and 8K video streaming become commonplace, the gigabit-enabled infrastructure will be able to handle anything.
Gigabit speeds are only possible if the connection between your broadband provider, the network and your house is via fiber optic cables instead of the previous copper telephone lines. This is over 25x faster than normal fiber broadband.