September 8, 2017 / 11:06 PM / 10 months ago

Britain makes more funding available to help expand broadband

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said 645 million pounds would be available to provide superfast broadband to more remote locations after a higher-than-expected take up of services delivered a windfall in funding.

FILE PHOTO - The logo for the British Telecom group is seen outside of offices in the City of London, Britain, January 16 , 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

The government has been subsidising the roll-out of connections of 24 Mbps and above to 4.5 million premises in remote locations, and it requires its suppliers to recycle the funding when take-up is higher than expected.

BT, its main supplier, has set aside 465 million pounds of funding - up from 292 million pounds in December - to extend coverage, which will be boosted by 180 million pounds of project efficiencies, the government said.

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said superfast broadband was now available to 94 percent of UK homes and businesses and it would reach 95 per cent by the end of the year.

“The money that is now being returned to the programme for reinvestment will help us reach that final 5 per cent, and is all part of our commitment to make sure that 100 percent of the UK can get affordable, fast and reliable broadband by 2020,” he said.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Toby Chopra

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