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Connected Berkshire

What does Connected Berkshire mean?

Connected Berkshire is an ambitious programme to achieve world class digital connectivity and to help people take advantage of it throughout the area.

Our aims are to:

  • Create the right conditions to attract digital investment
  • Create new digital infrastructure and assets
  • Ensure benefits are derived by all seven DIG partners
  • Align activities across multiple programmes/ strategies

Our objectives are to:

  • Increase gigabit capability to 85% by 2025
  • Eliminate Connectivity ‘not spots’ through infrastructure
  • Optimise use of wireless technologies and small cell rollout
  • Establish a Digital Inclusion Task Force

The Programme will achieve its aims and objectives by delivering projects and initiatives. These include:

  • Digital Adoption
  • Infrastructure Enablers
  • Asset Mapping
  • Market Engagement

The Berkshire Digital Infrastructure Group is working with telecoms operators to improve broadband, public access Wifi and mobile coverage across Berkshire.

This will help keep our 6 regions, Bracknell Forest, Reading, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough, West Berkshire and Wokingham, connected through improved infrastructure.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made us all more reliant on phone networks and internet services to stay in touch, which is why they are designated as critical services by the Government.

It’s vital that people can keep connected when being asked to stay at home, work remotely and practice social distancing. But getting fast, reliable internet access can be a challenge – particularly when several people want to go online at the same time.

Our Dig Once and DCIA Pilot Projects are supporting telecoms operators working on critical broadband and mobile networks, and can help to liaise with planners and street works.

All of these projects and initiatives, along with the Berkshire Digital Strategy are helping to create a Connected Berkshire.

We are also offering support by signposting businesses and communities to the help available to keep everyone connected:


Most homes and businesses across Berkshire can now upgrade to superfast broadband of at least 24Mbps (and often much faster).The fibre broadband rollout is continuing to fill remaining gaps in coverage as soon as possible, meanwhile there are a range of options to help people cope with poor broadband connections.

If you want to upgrade your broadband speed, visit the OfCom Broadband and Mobile webpage to check if you can get superfast and follow the steps to upgrade, or find out about the options available.

Check our Broadband Blog for advice on how to maximise broadband speeds and capacity while working from home.

Some providers offer reduced tariffs for households claiming certain benefits.

BT has launched Home Essentials (July 2021), a new social tariff for financially vulnerable individuals who are on specific means-tested benefits (such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit), to offer a low-cost telephone and broadband package fibre broadband. Anyone on Universal Credit with no supplementary income will be eligible for a free super-fast broadband connection if they are with an Openreach provider, starting 5 October 2021, via their ‘Connect the Unconnected’ programme.

 Virgin Media offers existing customers on benefits a 15Mb connection for £15/mth and you can find out about other cheap deals on a comparison website such as the Money Saving Expert website.

Sky have also recently launched their own social tariff, called Sky Broadband Basics, though it is only available at present to existing customers. To be eligible for Sky Broadband Basics, the Sky account holder needs to be claiming Universal Credit or Pension Credit, and to be named on the Universal or Pension Credit monthly statement. Sky may require proof of this when you enquire. Currently it's only available to customers who already have Sky Broadband, and still requires these customers to contact Sky to enable the move.


The UK’s major mobile and internet service providers have responded to this by offering a range of support for all their customers, including concessions for NHS frontline workers, the most vulnerable and people in financial hardship.

Many people are also facing financial uncertainty and the more vulnerable members of our communities may need a bit of extra help.

Mobile phones or landlines are particularly essential for vulnerable people who are self-isolating, and those without internet access, to get food, medicines and other support they need.

Mobile UK has put together some information about how mobile operators are dealing with COVID-19 and keeping the UK connected. They have collated details that explain some of the actions the industry is taking, information on how to get into contact with each mobile operator, and some additional useful advice that may be helpful on their website.

Find out more about how we are improving mobile coverage.

Public Access Wifi

We are also working to expand free public access Wifi to help people get online, support businesses and make it easier to access vital public services.

The programme is working with each Berkshire Local Authority to increase provision in public buildings, open spaces, market town centres and village halls in rural areas.

Connected Britain 2022

We recently attended Connected Britain 2022 - read our Blog and have a look at the pictures in the gallery below: