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4.55 million homes and businesses now have access to a superfast broadband service thanks to the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

The £1.6 billion scheme was launched five years ago with the aim of making speeds of 24Mbps available to 95 per cent of the UK by December 2017.

These latest figures mean it has reached 93 per cent of premises so far, which in turn means BDUK is on course to hit its primary target by the end of this year.

Government grants to councils and budget transfers to devolved administrations added up to £563 million in cash terms up to the end of June this year.

This works out to 8,072 premises covered per £1 million of broadband delivery programme expenditure up to this point.

BDUK's longer-term aim is to reach 97 per cent of UK premises by 2020.

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