Blog |
emea, Broadband, mobile, United Kingdom
UK plans aggressive spend to upgrade broadband, wireless networks by 2020-21
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The U.K. government is planning to spend more than $1.24 billion (£1.0 billion) to modernize the country’s digital infrastructure with the goal of full-fiber broadband and 5G wireless technology nationwide by 2020-21.

“Our future transport, business and lifestyle needs will require world class digital infrastructure to underpin them,” said Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement today. “My ambition is for the U.K. to be a world leader in 5G — that means a full fiber network, a step change in speed, security and reliability. So we will invest over £1BN in our digital infrastructure to catalyze private investment in fiber networks and to support 5G trials.”

Delivering that “gold standard” can’t come soon enough. The United Kingdom isn’t among the Top 10 countries in the world in terms of broadband speed, and just 2% of U.K. homes have access to full-fiber connections, mostly in urban areas where the return on investment is high enough to justify the cost of network development.

Hammond also said the government will create a $497 million (£400 million) fund – which will be matched by private funds – to spur emerging fiber broadband providers to scale up their operations.

The chancellor said an additional $931 million (£750 million) would go toward funding 5G trials.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

Jim O'Neill

An award-winning industry expert and futurist who specializes in the convergence of traditional TV and the Internet. My focus includes pay TV, Cloud TV, OTT, multiplatform media delivery, the ecosystem that surrounds it and consumer trends. A frequent speaker at CES, NAB, Digital Hollywood, Park’s Associates Connections events, Streaming Media and Digital Entertainment World, among others. I'm the Editor of Videomind, which in the past year has won awards from Editor & Publisher and Digiday. I'm also the Principal Analyst at Ooyala. I'm based in Michigan. I formerly was an analyst at Parks Associates and editor of FierceOnlineVideo and FierceIPTV. 

You can follow on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on Linkedin