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Government unlocks £645m for superfast broadband connections across the UK

The government has unlocked £645m to roll out superfast broadband of 24Mbps to up to 900,000 premises.

A total of £465m has been freed up thanks to a clause in BT’s contract that mandates it to recycle subsidies when people take up the service. Efficiencies delivered a further £180m.

The government’s broadband rollout programme will have delivered superfast connections to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of the year.

Digital minister Matt Hancock said: “The money […] is all part of our commitment to make sure that 100 per cent of the UK can get affordable, fast and reliable broadband by 2020.”

Which? researchers revealed in June that Orkney and Shetland islanders have the worst broadband in the UK, with average rates of 8.4Mbps and 8.8Mbps respectively.

But sluggish connections are hardly confined to remote Scottish islands. Some London boroughs’ broadband is so bad that Sadiq Khan appointed a “not spot” team last month.

Rotherhithe, parts of Westminster and the City of London were singled out in the announcement as areas with particularly poor connections.

The mayor of London said: “If we are to remain competitive in the global economy, we need to ensure every Londoner is able to access a fast and reliable digital connection.”