European Commission Endorses UK Broadband Through 2020

The European Commission has given the thumbs up to the UK’s National Broadband Scheme, which is designed to extend next-generation broadband access as far as possible by 2020.

The government notified Brussels of its plans on the 21st April on its so-called National Broadband Scheme, which will form part of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).

The government said the scheme would increase coverage of high-speed broadband by supporting the rollout of technology capable of delivering broadband speeds of more than 30Mbps, which is 6Mbps over the current definition of superfast.

European Commissioner in charge of competition, Margethe Vestager, said: “Today’s decision endorses UK plans to support the roll-out of high speed broadband infrastructure – it aims to bring faster internet to UK consumers and businesses in line with EU state aid rules.”

Vestager found that the UK was already well above the EU average with 91% of premises having access to speeds of more than 30Mbps, but said the country needed better investment in rural areas where deployment is more costly and less likely to be a priority for operators.

Digital economy minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “Nine out of 10 homes and businesses in the UK can already get superfast broadband and we are reaching thousands more every week.“The commission’s decision will help us to reach more properties more quickly, bringing a welcome boost in broadband speeds to communities across the UK.”

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