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New Telecoms Review will help deliver full fibre to all communities

Sir John Armitt yesterday welcomed Ministers’ plans to help ensure homes and businesses across the UK have the latest full-fibre broadband connections by 2033 – mirroring recommendations in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission said the measures in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review would “ensure every community will benefit” from faster, more reliable broadband connections offered by this new technology.

Published yesterday by Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, the Review offers a national plan to extend access to full fibre to 15million homes and businesses by 2025, 25million by 2030 and full coverage across the country by 2033.

As recommended in the National Infrastructure Assessment, it makes clear that full fibre should be delivered to the majority of homes by private sector providers, by encouraging competition between networks.

But at the same time the Government will part-subsidise roll-out to those more rural and remote areas who are least likely to receive these services quickly.  These Government subsidies would be used first to support service provision to the hardest-to-reach areas, and work in towards more populated areas.

And to push full-fibre out even further and faster, Ministers will also introduce further measures to cut the costs of deployment.

All this will help the roll-out of full fibre, helping the UK to compete internationally – and potentially support the introduction of 5G mobile services.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt yesterday said:

“Our National Infrastructure Assessment highlighted the real benefits that full-fibre broadband could offer this country’s households and businesses – and the real risk that rural and remote communities could miss out.

“So I welcome the findings of today’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, which mirror our own recommendations and will ensure that every community will benefit from these faster, more reliable connections.

“As well as broadband, this plan will also leave the UK well-placed to introduce the latest 5G mobile technology wherever people live, work and travel.”

Notes to Editors:

Today’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review fulfills a key recommendation in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment, that there should be a National Broadband Plan for the roll-out of full-fibre broadband technology.  The chapter of the National Infrastructure Assessment on Building a Digital Future is published here

The National Infrastructure Commission also made recommendations regarding the roll-out of 5G mobile technology in its Connected Future report published in December 2016.  The report is available here


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