Building Digital UK to become executive agency of DCMS

The government’s broadband delivery body is to become an executive agency. Building Digital UK (BDUK) currently sits within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and is delivering the government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit to bring faster and more reliable internet speeds to hard-to-reach areas.

Becoming an executive agency will give BDUK more operational autonomy to focus on Project Gigabit and the Shared Rural Network. The new agency will have a new corporate governance structure, including a new board, with DCMS ministers retaining overall control and responsibility for BDUK and the broadband rollout.

The government said this move will make sure BDUK is set up in the most effective way to expand its operations for the fast delivery of broadband rollout. As part of the restructure, BDUK will set up a head office in central Manchester.

Julia Lopez, the minister for digital infrastructure, said, “We are on a mission to make sure everyone can get faster broadband speeds and reap the benefits of internet-fuelled innovations in the coming decades.

“We are moving fast and national gigabit-speed broadband coverage has jumped from six per cent to sixty per cent in just two years.

“As part of the biggest broadband build in British history we are now giving BDUK greater freedom and flexibility to ramp up rollout and expand its operations to create new jobs, boost economic growth and level up communities in need.”

The government has made a commitment for at least 85 per cent of the UK to have access to a gigabit-capable broadband connection by 2025.