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Economy Economy

Ensure 19 out of 20 premises will have access to superfast broadband in 2017

Last updated: 04:23pm 29 November 2019

By the end of this year, 19 out of 20 premises will have access to superfast broadband…

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.78

Our verdict

In December 2017, Ofcom published its Connected Nations Report, revealing that, since the previous year, superfast broadband (SFBB) coverage in England had increased 2 percentage points to 92% (based on data from May-June 2017). This is a pledge to give access to superfast broadband to 19 out of 20 premises by the end of 2017.

In January 2018, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) claimed it had reached its target of 19 out of 20 premises before the end of 2017, ahead of the deadline, using figures from the ThinkBroadband website, not from the government-approved communications regulator, Ofcom.

Later that year, in December, the 2018 Connected Nations Report from Ofcom found that 94% of premises were connected to superfast broadband, based on data “collected as a snapshot in January 2018”.  This is just below 19 out of 20.

Policy Tracker tries, where possible and sensible, to use official information sources. The ThinkBroadband website says:

“The largest factor for any differences with the Ofcom analysis is down to the timing of publication”.

However, the discrepancy we found is not explained by different publication dates – the government claim is from January 2018, the same month in which the Ofcom data was gathered.

Based on Ofcom’s judgement, the government failed to provide superfast broadband access to 19 out of 20 premises by the end of 2017. We accept that it may have achieved the target since then, possibly very soon afterwards, but the deadline was missed. This policy is ‘broken’.

Further reading

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