The UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that an extra £250 million of government funding will be allocated to boost the nationwide roll-out of fibre-optic broadband.

Projects around the country will now receive additional funding, with those areas that are the furthest afield standing to gain the most. The new £250 million is additional to the £1.2 billion that has already been invested by the government. The DCMS hopes that it will help provide 95 per cent of homes and businesses with superfast broadband by 2017.

According to government figures, for every £1 invested in the programme £20 will be returned, and will create 56,000 more jobs in the UK by 2024. The rollout is also expected to provide a £1.5 billion boost to local economies.

Avoiding the slow lane

10,000 homes and businesses are connected to broadband each week, says the DCMS, with 40,000 per week being set as the target by the end of the year. Businesses, says the department, will stand to gain hugely from the rollout, having their processing power and productivity boosted by the new speeds availible.

Superfast broadband has been rolling out across Britain for the past year, connecting areas such as Somerset and Devon, Scotland and Wales. Britons have also made their feelings clear on the matter, telling a survey that they feel fast internet is more important to the country's growth than new rail lines or air ports.

"Superfast Broadband will benefit everyone - whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films. Thousands of homes and businesses," said Culture Secretary Maria Miller. "We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband, and the extra £250 million we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane."