Broadband infrastructure in remote rural areas depends on UK government funding, which the NI Department for the Economy (DfE) is working to secure.
In this article we cover:
- How many premises will get connected
- Which premises qualify
- When the roll out will be finalised
- Check if your house might get faster broadband
Funds are coming from the UK government to roll out superfast (1,000 megabits per second) broadband to all parts of NI thanks to Project Gigabit, which the DfE expects will be rolled out within the next three to four years.
“Northern Ireland is likely to become the first part of the UK with near ubiquitous access to gigabit-capable broadband within the next three to four years, and will be in a position to capitalise on the long-term social and economic benefits that access to improved broadband can deliver to homes and businesses alike,” said Nigel Robbins, Broadband Project Director at the DfE.
An open market review, which looked at the areas that weren’t getting broadband, shows that gigabit-capable broadband will reach close to 880,000 premises in NI. That leaves 85,504 premises without access to gigabit-capable broadband, as they are considered commercially unviable.
Of those 85k homes and businesses, only those designated as Gigabit White will qualify for UK government funding, and the estimate is that there are 50,745 of those.
The DfE is in the process of considering if UK government intervention is required. If it is, the DfE will “take forward further work to develop the business case to support this intervention” so it’s yet unclear when infrastructure work will begin.
Project Gigabit follows in the steps of the DfE’s Superfast broadband programme and the DfE’s broadband intervention programme Project Stratum.