A SHOCKING percentage of homes in mid Essex are incapable of accessing full-fibre broadband, figures reveal.

A group of MPs has warned that the Government’s pledge of gigabit broadband for 85 per cent of the UK by 2025 will not be met, leaving those in rural areas with slow connectivity for years to come.

Figures from the House of Commons showed fewer than 20 per cent of homes in the Braintree, Witham and Maldon constituencies could receive speeds of one gigabit per second in September last year.

The figures show just 15.3 per cent of Maldon homes could achieve the one gigabit speed while Braintree could only muster 13.9 per cent and Witham just 8.6 per cent.

This coverage differs greatly throughout each parliamentary constituency.

In the Braintree constituency, 78 per cent of homes in Steeple Bumpstead have one gigabit speed, while Halstead Central and West has none at all.

According to the House of Commons figures, 27 per cent of UK homes can access the technology, but more recent data from Think Broadband had this at 37 per cent by January.

The Public Accounts Committee criticised the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for not admitting sooner it would not meet a Conservative election pledge of gigabit broadband connectivity across the entire country by 2025.

It was not until November that the Government revealed it was rowing back on the target, aiming for at least 85 per cent instead.

That original target was “unachievable”, MPs said in their Improving Broadband report.

Meg Hillier, chairman of the committee, said: “With the grim announcement that the country and economy will be locked down for months, the Government’s promises on digital connectivity are more important than ever.

“But due to a litany of planning and implementation failures at DCMS, those promises are slipping farther and farther out of reach – even worse news for the ‘rural excluded’ who face years trying to recover with substandard internet connectivity.”

Figures showed the average download speed across Braintree was 46 megabits per second while Maldon’s average was 46.5 megabits. Witham’s average was the highest at 50.6.

The DCMS said it did not agree with the MPs’ report, claiming it contained some inaccuracies.

A spokesman said: “Gigabit capable broadband is being rolled out rapidly – from one in ten households in 2019 to one in three households today.

“We expect that half of all households will have access to gigabit speeds by the end of this year, and the UK is deploying at a faster build rate than comparable countries.”