UK Government Looks to Boost Digital Infrastructure with Large Cash Investments

Late last year the Government launched its Industrial Strategy, a long-term idea for how Britain can boost the earning power of people across the UK, by embracing technological transformation. Within this strategy, four global trends were identified, which the UK must clasp to ensure it harnesses all the prospects which may arise as a result.

Infrastructure is seen as the foundation of our lives, work and interests. Having current and accessible infrastructure is therefore paramount to future prosperity and growth. The Government aims to build a digital frontier of fully integrated fibre broadband and 5G services, utilising the Internet of Things. There is promise of high speed rail networks, road links and airports in order to connect UK residents to jobs and opportunities. The Government also plans to improve the quality of home and work life with high-quality housing and clean, affordable energy. There are, however, a number of other policies which have currently been implemented.

There has been an initial £67 million investment put in place in order to provide fibre broadband ahead of 5G’s launch. The Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) is set to provide SME’s with vouchers up to £3000 to help connect fibre broadband. This is part of a wider scheme to integrate more businesses and homes to fibre broadband, building on the £200 million Local Full Fibre Networks programme which empowers local regions to boost fibre delivery.

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “This means faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future”. Matt Hancock, DCMS Secretary of State added: “By building a full fibre future for Britain we are laying the foundations for a digital infrastructure capable of delivering today what the next generation will need tomorrow.”

Full fibre connections whilst being more reliable and faster, are also more cost effective and capable of supporting petabit speeds to serve the UK deep into the future, however at present only 3% of the UK has access to these connections.

There are also other schemes available for the UK, to help tap into the benefits that fibre can bring, such as the establishing of a £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund. This is set to reduce buffering and download times and provide better connections. The Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill also provides a 100% business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their servers.

Clean growth is another area which is being heavily focussed upon. Advancement in clean growth is crucial for low cost, low carbon infrastructure systems, as well as recognising business opportunities. One strategy the Government is undertaking to contribute to clean growth is promoting the adoption of zero emission vehicles. The Road to Zero Strategy proposal aims to see at least 50% of new vehicles at extremely low emissions by 2030.

A further £100m has been promised towards the plug-in car grant to encourage the purchasing of electric vehicles. The Government has also pledged 25% of vehicles in Central Government to becoming electric by 2022. The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund is also said to receive £600 million investment and another £40 million to support street side and wireless charging.

Adoption of clean growth through transport, will open opportunities to strengthen the growth of markets for clean technologies, whilst also supporting the expansion of UK supply chains which will generate jobs and drive future exports.

The Industrial Strategy firmly sets out its aims for the UK economy and its desire to increase the efficiency, earning opportunity and general quality of life of UK residents. The Government strives to become one of the world’s most innovative economies and the leading country to start and grow a business, with ultramodern infrastructure and wide prosperous communities.

However, in order for this strategy to provide real benefit to the UK people, it needs to combine patience with agility. Clear direction is required through policies and bodies. These need to be trusted by businesses, leaders, researchers and universities, to create a shared invested vision of the future. This will be paramount to measuring the success of how the UK and its people adopt to digital transformation.

Further information can be found in the full report here.

Late last year the Government launched its Industrial Strategy, a long-term idea for how Britain can boost the earning power of people across the UK, by embracing technological transformation. Within this strategy, four global trends were identified, which the UK must clasp to ensure it harnesses all the prospects which may arise as a result.

Infrastructure is seen as the foundation of our lives, work and interests. Having current and accessible infrastructure is therefore paramount to future prosperity and growth. The Government aims to build a digital frontier of fully integrated fibre broadband and 5G services, utilising the Internet of Things. There is promise of high speed rail networks, road links and airports in order to connect UK residents to jobs and opportunities. The Government also plans to improve the quality of home and work life with high-quality housing and clean, affordable energy. There are, however, a number of other policies which have currently been implemented.

There has been an initial £67 million investment put in place in order to provide fibre broadband ahead of 5G’s launch. The Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) is set to provide SME’s with vouchers up to £3000 to help connect fibre broadband. This is part of a wider scheme to integrate more businesses and homes to fibre broadband, building on the £200 million Local Full Fibre Networks programme which empowers local regions to boost fibre delivery.

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “This means faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future”. Matt Hancock, DCMS Secretary of State added: “By building a full fibre future for Britain we are laying the foundations for a digital infrastructure capable of delivering today what the next generation will need tomorrow.”

Full fibre connections whilst being more reliable and faster, are also more cost effective and capable of supporting petabit speeds to serve the UK deep into the future, however at present only 3% of the UK has access to these connections.

There are also other schemes available for the UK, to help tap into the benefits that fibre can bring, such as the establishing of a £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund. This is set to reduce buffering and download times and provide better connections. The Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill also provides a 100% business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their servers.

Clean growth is another area which is being heavily focussed upon. Advancement in clean growth is crucial for low cost, low carbon infrastructure systems, as well as recognising business opportunities. One strategy the Government is undertaking to contribute to clean growth is promoting the adoption of zero emission vehicles. The Road to Zero Strategy proposal aims to see at least 50% of new vehicles at extremely low emissions by 2030.

A further £100m has been promised towards the plug-in car grant to encourage the purchasing of electric vehicles. The Government has also pledged 25% of vehicles in Central Government to becoming electric by 2022. The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund is also said to receive £600 million investment and another £40 million to support street side and wireless charging.

Adoption of clean growth through transport, will open opportunities to strengthen the growth of markets for clean technologies, whilst also supporting the expansion of UK supply chains which will generate jobs and drive future exports.

The Industrial Strategy firmly sets out its aims for the UK economy and its desire to increase the efficiency, earning opportunity and general quality of life of UK residents. The Government strives to become one of the world’s most innovative economies and the leading country to start and grow a business, with ultramodern infrastructure and wide prosperous communities.

However, in order for this strategy to provide real benefit to the UK people, it needs to combine patience with agility. Clear direction is required through policies and bodies. These need to be trusted by businesses, leaders, researchers and universities, to create a shared invested vision of the future. This will be paramount to measuring the success of how the UK and its people adopt to digital transformation.

Further information can be found in the full report here.

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Linton Ward
Linton Ward

Managing Director, Public Sector