Budget 2018: what does it mean for telecoms?

Land Mobile looks at the budget’s implications including the additional funding for fibre and R&D, along with the measures that could indirectly stimulate demand for two-way radio.

As part of the government’s strategy to ensure a nationwide full fibre network by 2033 (as set out in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review published in July) the budget has allocated £200 million from the NPIF (National Productivity Investment Fund – the government’s main initiative aimed at addressing the UK’s productivity gap) to pilot approaches to deploying full fibre in rural locations, starting with primary schools, and with a voucher scheme for homes and businesses nearby. The first wave of this will include the Borderlands, Cornwall, and the Welsh Valleys. Suffolk will be the first local area to be awarded from the £5.9 million of funding from the third wave of the Local Full Fibre Networks challenge fund, enabling full fibre connections to key public buildings.

Phil Sorsky, vice president of Service Providers International at CommScope welcomed the additional investment in fibre infrastructure, adding “According to the Cable.co.uk broadband speed league, the UK sits in 35th place in terms of global internet speeds – and is third bottom out of the EU countries included, behind the likes of Madagascar and Bulgaria. This simply isn’t sustainable, particularly in the run up-to Brexit. Access to fibre is a key component for businesses across the UK, with companies even more under pressure to deliver on a global scale, and this is yet another reminder of why we need more investment in this area.”

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