More than a thousand schools in hard-to-reach areas of the UK have been upgraded to ultrafast gigabit broadband as part of the government’s levelling-up agenda.

A new £210m investment is set to bring next-generation internet capacity and speeds to almost 7,000 public buildings next year, and the upgrades are already live in schools that were previously struggling with slow connections.

The UK government has worked with Openreach to switch on full-fibre broadband at 1,084 schools in areas including Norfolk, Wolverhampton, the Highlands and North Yorkshire.

A further 884 schools in rural areas that do not have access to speeds of at least 100Mbps are set to receive a broadband boost by March 2022.

Digital secretary Nadine Dorries said that the investment will give teachers the ability to leverage cutting-edge technology during lessons and improve access to key learning opportunities.

Thousands of other public buildings including hospitals, museums and fire stations across the UK will also be able to connect to gigabit broadband by early next year.

The government is focusing its efforts on the 30% of places in the UK that cannot currently tap into broadband speeds of at least 100Mbps and those that are not set to get commercial upgrades in the near future.

As part of the initiative, the government is also calling on industry bodies and other leading figures to provide information about how it can support the rollout of next-generation mobile networks.

Dorries added: “Today’s announcements will help harness the huge potential of 5G and future wireless networks such as 6G to supercharge our plan to build back better.”