Broadband is a telecommunications technology which allows users to connect to the internet. As of January 2024, 97% of UK premises could access ‘superfast’ broadband, which is capable of download speeds of over 24 megabits per second. 

‘Gigabit’ broadband is the next generation of broadband. It refers to any technology that can deliver download speeds of at least 1,000 megabits per second. The UK Government’s target is for gigabit broadband to be available to 85% of UK premises by 2025 and nationwide by 2030. As of January 2024, 78% of UK premises could access gigabit broadband. 

While the benefits of better broadband are widely acknowledged, there have been concerns about the impact of deploying gigabit networks. For example, residents in some areas have complained about powers broadband companies have to erect telegraph poles without local consultation. 

Some are also concerned about the affordability of broadband services, especially following the inflation-linked price increases that many internet service providers imposed between 2022 and 2024. Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator, has encouraged internet service providers to offer cheaper ‘social tariffs to individuals on certain benefits such as Universal Credit.

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