Budgeting for Broadband
16 Mar 2016 05:25 PM
On the broad theme of broadband, the Budget contains some interesting initiatives with the dual underlying aims of keeping UK at the leading edge in the availability of next generation digital infrastructure and ensuing that UK businesses and individuals are quick to adopt digital tools and solutions.
Here is a list of the broadband related initiatives in the Budget
- A new Broadband Investment Fund, in partnership with private sector investors, providing greater access to finance to support the growth of alternative broadband networks
- A 5G strategy planned for 2017, based on an assessment by the National Infrastructure Commission of how the UK can become a world leader in 5G
- An additional £4.5 million in addition to an earlier announced £ 10 million to extend ultrafast broadband coverage in the South West
- Clear and transparent broadband pricing via new proposals from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
The adoption of digital technologies and applications across the economy and population is a crucial ingredient for stepping up productivity, creating sustainable growth and delivering a range of societal benefits. UK people have consistently shown themselves to be fast adopters of digital technology and their expectations in terms of applications and quality of service is rising. The availability of up to date digital communications infrastructure enabling the connectivity needed for these digital applications is an essential prerequisite. The dual focus on availability and adoption is therefore very welcome.
On the 5G initiatives Raj Sivalingam, techUK’s Executive Director for Telecommunications and Spectrum, commented “We welcome the plan to develop a UK strategy on 5G. As well as identifying opportunities for UK development of key 5G technologies and innovative networks, it is vital that the strategy also focusses on the applications of 5G in the wider economy, from entertainment and sport to healthcare and transport. The strategy should address what needs to be done to remove barriers and encourage adoption.”
techUK's full comment on the 2016 Budget can be found here.