Government launch fund to boost broadband investment
Jul 4th 2017, 15:18 by Charlotte Whyatt
The UK Government have officially launched a £400 million fund in order to boost investment in full fibre broadband across the country.
Known as the Digital Investment Fund, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his intention to create it in last year’s Autumn Statement.
Its goal is to significantly increase the number of homes and businesses throughout the UK which have access to ultra-fast fibre-to-the-property broadband over the next four years.
Currently, full fibre broadband is available to around one million premises all over the UK which equates to a penetration rate of 2%. This pales in comparison to other European countries such as Spain where the rate stands at an impressive 80%.
Amber Infrastructure and M&G Investments are both set to invest and manage the fund but the government is trying to persuade other as yet unnamed private investors to get involved and bring the whole total up to a staggering £1 billion.
In a interview with the BBC, a Treasury Spokesperson stated that while no company will be prevented from applying for a grant, it’s really being targeted toward the UK’s smaller network builders which find it much more difficult to attract capital than the bigger telecommunication companies like BT and Virgin Media.
Theoretically, fibre-optic cables can be used to achieve speeds of up to an incredibly fast 1Gbps. Iit’s very unlikely that the majority of homes and buisnesses will actually be able to achieve this speed however, but it does put the UK in very good stead for the future.
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