The UK government and private enterprise will pump a combined £6.8 billion into the country’s digital infrastructure over the next three years, as authorities aim to achieve full fibre broadband coverage by 2033 and 5G across the majority of the country by 2027.
Building on the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review unveiled in July, the investment plan is included in a wide-ranging report into national projects across a number of sectors.
Plans covering “digital infrastructure”, comprising fibre and 5G-related technology, involve central government investing £0.7 billion; industry £4.7 billion and the remainder coming from public-private partnerships. The vast majority will be spent before the end of 2020.
In the report, government agencies HM Treasury and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority said the investment, along with ongoing 5G trials and tests in the country, would “identify potential deployment and technical challenges for 5G, reduce commercial risks associated with investment in 5G by stimulating demand for new services, and help inform future policy.”
As is the case with regulators and authorities across many developed markets, the UK government is keen to be seen to be pushing forward the development of digital infrastructure, though pressure groups argue more needs to be done.
In September, operator-backed Mobile UK called on politicians to review planning procedures for infrastructure including access to land, power grid and fibre facilities; echoing previous statements from regulator Ofcom.
Mobile UK also wants legislation to ensure mobile connectivity plans are included at an early stage in designs for new housing, industrial developments and transport projects.Subscribe to our daily newsletter