In our analysis of the Spending Review 2020 through a Rural Lens (referred to in last week’s Bulletin and available here) we reported on the Spending Review decision regarding the roll out of gigabit capable broadband.
Only £1.2 bn (not the £5bn promised) is allocated in the Government Spending Review. The £1.2 bn is across the 4 years from 2021-22 to 2024/25. The allocation is:
2021/22 - £0.1bn
2022/23 - £0.3bn
2023/24 - £0.4bn
2024/25 - £0.5bn
We commented that based on the level of funding allocated in the Spending Review it is estimated that it will not be until circa 2028/29 that rural areas will be able to access this level of service.
Since then we, and other rural interests groups have had discussions with officials from DCMS (Department for Media, Culture and Sports), Defra and the Industry.
Whilst the position is confusing we have been assured that the £5bn is still available to spend if the capacity to spend issues can be addressed and evidenced to the Treasury.
RSN members can be assured that we are taking this issue very seriously and will continue to press for urgent clarity and for the balance of funding from £1.2bn to $5bn to be firmly committed in the multi-year Spending Review in 2021.
Watch future bulletins for further updates!
Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates.