Business rates boost for broadband
5 Apr 2018 09:48 AM
Homes and businesses across England are set to benefit from better broadband after a new scheme, which exempts new broadband fibre from business rates, began.
The Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2018 paves the way for full-fibre broadband and future 5G communications. By enabling 100% business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their networks, the Act incentivises operators to invest in the broadband network.
Now secondary legislation has been laid, firing the starting gun on the scheme which will see communications providers exempt from business rates on new fibre for 5 years, backdated to 1 April 2017.
Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:
From the country’s most rural locations, to our big cities, we want everyone to benefit from fast, affordable and reliable broadband.
With this new legislation now in place, people can expect the rapid installation of new fibre, paving the way for better connectivity across the country.
From making it easier to work from home to allowing digital businesses to flourish, our measures are creating the right conditions for more high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future.
By driving improvements in the speed, service quality, security and reliability of broadband services, the Act will help transform the way modern businesses work together, reach their consumers and target their export markets.
As well benefiting businesses, full fibre broadband will also increase internet speeds for households and enable users to access more services online with multiple devices. For example, simultaneously streaming high definition TV and films, playing online games, and working from home quicker and more reliably than ever before.
These measures will provide important support for a more productive economy and help build a Britain fit for the future.
Minister for Digital, Margot James, said:
We are building a Britain that is fit for the future, and creating the right conditions to stimulate industry investment in infrastructure. People need good connectivity wherever they work, live, and travel and initiatives like our business rates relief scheme are key to us delivering this.
At the 2016 Autumn Statement, the government announced £1 billion of new funding to boost the UK’s digital infrastructure. This includes investment of £400 million in a new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund to support emerging fibre broadband providers.
Yesterday’s announcement builds on the recent, pioneering new Digital Strategy, which has skills, infrastructure and innovation at its heart to support Britain’s world-leading digital economy.
As we make the most of the opportunities presented by exiting the European Union, it will help to make the UK the best place to start and run a digital business – creating more of the high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future.
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