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Superfast broadband plans for rural parts of Warwickshire, government announces

WARWICKSHIRE is to be included in the government's second wave of investment that will bring superfast broadband to rural parts of England.

The culture secretary has announced that a further 1.85 million additional premises across 26 English counties will get access to gigabit speed internet, equivalent to 1,000 megabits per second.

It comes after the first areas to benefit from the £5bn broadband upgrade – a key part of the prime minister’s so-called levelling-up agenda – were revealed in March, including Cornwall, Cumbria, Essex and Northumberland.

As part of this second announcement, almost half a million premises in Shropshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Worcestershire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be among those to benefit, with work due to start in 2022. Work will then be undertaken in Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Surrey, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Staffordshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

Work in Warwickshire would started in October 2023.

The superfast speeds will allow users to download a HD movie in less than 30 seconds. The investment is part of Boris Johnson’s target of achieving at least 85 per cent gigabit-capable UK coverage by 2025, with officials stating that the government is “on track” to meet the commitment.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Millions more rural homes and businesses will now be lifted out of the digital slow lane thanks to our mammoth £5 billion investment and one of the quickest rollouts in Europe.

“This broadband revolution will create jobs, power up businesses and allow everyone to access vital services at lightning fast speed, helping us build back better from the pandemic.”

Rocio Concha, policy and advocacy director at consumer choice group Which?, said: “The coronavirus crisis has highlighted how vital fast and reliable broadband is, so it’s good to see the government prioritise more rural areas which have suffered for too long with poor internet connections.

“The government should clarify when these communities will actually be able to benefit from these connections, as consumers are relying on the internet more than ever and improving connectivity will play an important role as we recover from the pandemic.”

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