We will pursue an ‘outside in’ strategy to the delivery of gigabit-capable networks, meaning that while network competition serves the commercially feasible areas, the Government will simultaneously support investment in the most difficult to reach areas. The Government intends to invest £5bn in those areas that are likely to be unviable commercially for gigabit-capable network deployment and will require additional funding of some kind.
We are already connecting some of the hardest to reach places in the country through our Superfast broadband programme and £200 million Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme. In addition, we are currently working closely with industry, Local Authorities and Devolved Administrations to design this our new £5 billion programme - which includes determining how areas will be prioritised - to ensure we get the best possible value for money for taxpayers. We intend to start procuring contracts next year.