BT HAS announced it will roll out ultrafast broadband to 'harder to reach' areas, including towns and villages on the Isle of Wight.

Openreach said ultrafast, ultra-reliable and future-proof broadband would be made available to homes and businesses in 63 towns and villages across the south east, including Cowes, East Cowes, Osborne and Northwood.

In total, 2,271 areas will be targeted across the UK, with building due to start in the next 14 months.

It’s part of Openreach’s previously stated target to reach four million homes and businesses with full fibre technology by the end of March 2021.

Laura Whelan, Openreach’s partnership director in the south east, said: “This is great news for people living and working here and builds on Openreach’s strong track record of working in rural areas, for years playing a key role alongside local councils to upgrade more than 97 per cent of the south east to superfast broadband.

"Today’s announcement is about taking that next step and building a full fibre network that is not only faster, but also more reliable and future-proof for generations to come.”

A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research found connecting everyone in the south east to full fibre broadband by 2025 would create a £8.7 billion boost for the region’s economy.

The report also revealed 65,000 people in the region could be brought back into the workforce through enhanced connectivity. This could include roles within small businesses and entrepreneurs, and by enabling people to work remotely.