The DCMS, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, reports that superfast broadband has now reached almost 5 million businesses and homes.

This they say delivers a £12.28 benefit for firms for every £1 invested by central and local authorities.

Margot James, the Digital Minister saidthe target was to ensure access for all to fast and affordable broadband by 2020.

The findings come in a report titled, ‘The Evaluation of the Economic Impact and Public Value of the Superfast Broadband Programme, covering 2012 to 2016.’

The report also claimed the broadband rollout had led to a reduction of almost 9,000 jobseekers allowance claims as well as the creation of 49,000 local jobs.

Reduced network costs.

Just last month the company that runs much of the UK’s telecoms infrastructure, Openreach, reduced the wholesale price of broadband. This was an attempted to boost the number of businesses and homes using fast broadband services.

Companies such as TalkTalk and Sky would benefit from reduced costs for using the network if they can increase the number of customers using it.

Commenting on the DCMs’s report, Openreach chief executive Clive Selley said the superfast broadband rollout was a great engineering achievement.

“It is great to see businesses across the UK reaping the benefits of faster broadband speeds,” he said.

“We’ve also recently introduced a raft of lower wholesale prices to help drive higher take-up of faster fibre services which will help to further fuel the boost to the UK economy.”

Take up rates are rising.

So far about 10 million households and businesses have upgraded to superfast broadband – speeds of 24 megabits per second and above.

Currently, the highest rate of superfast broadband availability is in North East England (97.19%), followed by South East England (97.07%) and the West Midlands (96.56%).

The lowest coverage level is in Northern Ireland (87.74%), followed by South West England (93.34%) and Scotland (93.53%).

The UK government wants to see all of the UK on full-fibre broadband – rather than rely on broadband delivered over copper networks – by 2033.