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The government's goal of extending superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017 has been achieved.

According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), more than 19 out of 20 homes and businesses now have the opportunity to upgrade their internet connections to speeds of at least 24Mbps.

This, it stated, is more than twice the speed that Ofcom says is required by a typical family home.

The DCMS went on to note that its £1.7 billion superfast broadband strategy had been dismissed by industry as "not commercially viable".

However, it said the scheme has so far reached 4.5 million premises, including many in rural areas, that would otherwise have been "left in the connectivity slow lane".

"We’ve delivered on our commitment to reach 95 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK, but there’s still more to do in our work building a Britain that’s fit for the future," said Digital Secretary Matt Hancock.

"We’re reaching thousands more premises every single week, and the next commitment is to making affordable, reliable, high speed broadband a legal right to everyone by 2020."

Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at, welcomed the announcement, but stressed that customers need to be taking up these services if they are to see the full benefits.

"The big challenge now is to give more consumers the confidence to upgrade by making sure the pricing is competitive and to ensure customers know what services are available to their  home," he said.

Mr Neudegg noted that just 57 per cent of broadband users believe they can access superfast services in their area.

Furthermore, he stated that customers have no meaningful way of comparing the speed of their current connection with what they might expect from an upgrade side-by-side.

As a result, Mr Neudegg believes the industry should implement "simple remedies" that help customers better understand the benefits and value of a superfast service.

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, added that the success of the superfast broadband rollout as "without doubt an extraordinary achievement".

Nevertheless, Mr Selley stressed that while this is "an important milestone", there is still further to go.

"We’re determined to get Britain - the whole of Britain - hooked up to decent broadband speeds," he said.

The government has already confirmed that universal high speed broadband is to be delivered by a regulatory Universal Service Obligation (USO).

This means that everyone in Britain will have the legal right to request minimum speeds of 10Mbps by 2020.

Mr Selly said Openreach will be working with industry, the government and Ofcom to deliver the USO, as well as continuing to expand its network to address the remaining not-spots across the country.

This, he stated, will involve a combination of its own commercial programmes and partnerships with local authorities and communities.

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