Faster broadband speeds have sparked a surge in home values, economic benefits and job creation, a new report has claimed - but not everyone is taking advantage.
The £2.6 billion government scheme to roll out superfast broadband to ‘commercially unviable’ parts of the UK sparked a surge in home values of up to £3,500, according to the new report.
The independent review of the Superfast Broadband Programme, which secured faster connections for 5.5 million homes and businesses, found it had created £2.7 billion in economic benefits since starting in 2012.
Benefits include a surge in the value of homes sold in programme areas between 2012 and 2019 by up to £3,500 - a rise of 1.16 per cent worth £1.52 billion; 17,600 more jobs in programme areas; and increased workplace productivity worth more than £1.1 billion.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Our mission to level up the country with faster broadband is delivering much more than just quicker downloads.
"It’s boosting the value of homes and businesses, while helping to create thousands of jobs and keep the economy moving.
"Some 96 per cent of us can now access superfast broadband, but 11 million homes are still missing out on faster speeds available in their area.
"I encourage anyone fed up with slow loading times or shaky video calls to check with their provider or an online switching service and see if they can join the superfast lane."
More than 96 per cent of homes and businesses can now access superfast broadband, which provides a minimum of 30 megabits per second and is fast enough to allow multiple people to hold video calls, watch high-definition movies and enjoy online gaming at the same time.
But as the government prepares to kick off its new £5 billion programme to roll out even faster gigabit broadband, two in five homes are yet to upgrade to superfast, despite it being available in their area.
The programme saw the UK government join forces with councils and devolved administrations to invest more than £2.6 billion to ensure superfast speeds were rolled out to areas across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where no plans for commercial build were in place.
Clive Selley, chief executive officer at Openreach, the UK's digital network business, said: "It’s great to see how the UK is reaping the benefits of superfast broadband connectivity.
"But technology never stands still and we’re now busy future-proofing the UK with the next generation of ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband.
"Great connectivity’s more important than ever to our economic and social wellbeing - and it’s going to be critical to building back better and greener, post-pandemic."