The Government says millions of people in rural England will get access to the fastest broadband speeds on the market as part of a £5 billion plan to level up internet access across the UK.

Project Gigabit aims to upgrade digital infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas which the Government says will "accelerate" the country’s recovery from Covid, fire up high-growth sectors such as tech and the creative industries, put an end to families battling for bandwidth, and bring the speed and reliability people need to start and run businesses.

New details published this month have reveal nearly two millions additional homes across 26 English counties, including Hertfordshire, will get access to gigabit speed internet of 1,000 megabits per second.

These speeds are enough to download a HD movie in less than 30 seconds and lay the foundations for next-generation tech such as 8K-quality video streaming.

According to a timetable published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, Hertfordshire has been placed into phase 2 of the Project Gigabit programme.

The county has been grouped with Buckinghamshire and east Berkshire and the Government says 142,000 properties will benefit across the three areas.

However, work to officially install the fast broadband speeds is not scheduled to begin until April 2023, with a procurement start date of May 2022.

Of the 15 schemes in phase 2, the one involving Hertfordshire is set to be the most expensive, costing between £140 million and £237 million.

Project Gigabit is in addition to the tens of millions of premises that broadband firms are rapidly connecting through their commercial rollout, from one in ten households in 2019 to more than two in five today.

The UK is also on track for the fastest rollout in Europe this year and for 60 per cent of all households to have access to gigabit speeds by the end of this year.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden, who is also MP for Hertsmere, said: "Project Gigabit is our national mission to level up rural areas by giving them the fastest internet speeds on the market.

"Millions more rural homes and businesses will now be lifted out of the digital slow lane thanks to our mammoth £5 billion investment and one the quickest rollouts in Europe.

"This broadband revolution will create jobs, power up businesses and allow everyone to access vital services at lightning fast speed, helping us build back better from the pandemic."