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More than 2.5 million homes now have access to superfast broadband, according to the latest data from Broadband Delivery UK.

The scheme aims to make broadband of at least 24Mb available to 90% of the population by 2016 and 95% by 2017, and has expanded rapidly since being launched in late 2012.

As of March 2015, 2.4 million UK homes had been passed, compared to 1.9 million in December 2014, meaning that the number will now be comfortably above the 2.5 million mark.

The number of premises includes both homes and businesses and normally concentrates on areas that are not considered viable for rollout by the major telecoms providers such as Virgin Media and BT.

In total, BDUK grants to local authorities across the UK amounted to £301.4 million until the end of March, excluding match funding from local authorities, the EU and BT.

This equates to around 8,000 premises covered per million pounds of BDUK expenditure so far, or £125 per home or business building, but this is expected to rise as the scheme is rolled out in more challenging areas.

According to the Government, several pilot projects that could help to improve connectivity for the final 5% are taking place alongside BDUK, along with an assessment of potential costs.

Access to superfast speeds has "never been more important", according to Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.

"The Government’s rollout of superfast broadband will make sure that rural homes and businesses are not left behind and that the UK is properly equipped to meet the challenges of the digital age," he added. Newly reappointed Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said the BDUK scheme is reaching another 5,000 homes and businesses every day, with many projects ahead of schedule and superfast broadband uptake continuing to increase among both home customers and businesses.

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