Budget to commit £5bn to better broadband in remote areas

Budget to commit £5bn to better broadband in remote areas

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Rishi Sunak will tomorrow (March 11th) deliver his first Budget as chancellor of the exchequer, outlining the government's plans for taxation and spending in the coming financial year.

One of the key measures set to be confirmed in the announcement in the House of Commons is £5 billion of funding to support the rollout of high-speed broadband to some of the more hard-to-reach areas of the UK.

This increase in spending is intended to give people and organisations in remote locations better access to gigabit-capable broadband, offering average speeds that are 40 times faster than standard superfast connections.

More than five million households and businesses are expected to benefit.

Speaking ahead of the Budget, Mr Sunak said: "We are committed to levelling up across every region and nation in the UK, and that is why we are making the largest ever public investment into broadband.

"This investment delivers on our promises to the British people, boosting growth and prosperity across the country."

The chancellor is also expected to confirm a £1 billion deal with the mobile phone industry that will expand 4G coverage around the country and boost mobile signal in rural regions.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to benefit the most from this project, which aims to extend 4G availability to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2025.

Some of the measures announced in this week's Budget will follow up on pledges made in the Conservatives' 2019 election manifesto, in which the party stated its intentions to deliver full-fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every UK home and business by 2025.

The manifesto also highlighted the need for more comprehensive broadband coverage to support home-working, at a time when more people than ever are making the transition into self-employment.

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