Digital UK: BDUK to become an executive agency for rollout of gigabit broadband

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Digital UK: BDUK to become an executive agency for rollout of gigabit broadband
Digital UK: BDUK to become an executive agency for rollout of gigabit broadband

By April 2022, Building Digital UK will become an executive agency, which will see it gain a new corporate structure and board

Aimed at speeding up the rollout of gigabit broadband across UK, Building Digital UK (BDUK), the UK government’s broadband delivery body is set to become an executive agency in a reshuffle.

To provide businesses and consumers access to fast and reliable digital connectivity and improve services in rural area, Building Digital UK, currently a division within the Department for Digital, Media and Sport, oversees the government’s £5bn effort.

By April 2022, Building Digital UK will become an executive agency, which will see it gain a new corporate structure and board. However, DCMS will retain “overall control and responsibility” for the organisation. BDUK will also establish its head office in Manchester.

“As part of the biggest broadband build in British history, we are now giving BDUK greater freedom and flexibility to ramp up rollout and expand its operations to create new jobs, boost economic growth and level up communities in need”, said Julia Lopez, Digital Infrastructure Minister.

By 2025, the government has committed to giving 85 per cent of the UK access to a “gigabit-capable” broadband connection.

Up from six per cent in early 2019, some 62.9 per cent of UK homes and businesses currently have access to ultrafast gigabit broadband.

The government said the move will ensure Building Digital UK can focus on Project Gigabit. It will also give it more “operational autonomy” to focus on Shared Rural Network, a £1bn deal agreed with mobile network operators to tackle “patchy” rural mobile coverage and give 95 per cent of UK access to a 4G signal by the end of 2025.

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