Date
19 October 2018
UK’s new telecoms blueprint aims to ensure that people and businesses in the country get the broadband and mobile they need for the 21st Century. Photo: Reuters
UK’s new telecoms blueprint aims to ensure that people and businesses in the country get the broadband and mobile they need for the 21st Century. Photo: Reuters

UK unveils plan to take full-fiber broadband to every home

The United Kingdom has unveiled a long-term digital connectivity strategy that envisages, among other things, full-fiber broadband in every home in the country by 2033.

According to a document released this week, British government will ensure that new homes are fitted with full-fiber broadband, which is faster, more reliable and cheaper to run compared with traditional copper-based networks.

The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, announced as part of the government’s modern industrial strategy, lays out a series of measures that will help provide the majority of the UK population with access to 5G, and connect 15 million homes to full-fiber broadband by 2025.

By 2033, full-fiber broadband will extend across all of the country.

Hard-to-reach rural areas will get priority for new fixed broadband and 5G mobile connections, according to the new UK-wide plan for telecommunications.

“We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live, work or travel,” Jeremy Wright, secretary of state at UK’s Department of Culture, Media & Sport, said in a statement.

The total cost of rolling out broadband across the country is estimated to be about 30 billion pounds (US$39.4 billion).

With the new national telecoms strategy, the UK expects to future-proof domestic networks and boost international competitiveness, which now seriously lags several European nations on the fiber broadband front.

According to government statistics, only 4 percent of homes in the country currently have access to this technology, compared with 89 percent of households in Portugal, 71 percent of homes in Spain, and 28 percent of France.

The new plan “will increase competition and investment in full-fiber broadband, create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out the infrastructure for 5G,” Wright said.

The plan outlined includes public investment in full-fiber for rural areas, and a series of regulatory reforms intended to drive investment and competition, as well as a movement for an industry-led switch over from copper to full fiber.

Sky News notes that the proposals would make it easier for broadband providers in the country to access new developments, homes and businesses, and also include plans to open up access to sewers, pipes, ducts and poles, for laying essential mobile infrastructure.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 25

Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

BN/RC

Hong Kong Economic Journal

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe