UK Government launches £400 million fund to speed up fibre deployment

The UK government has launched a new £400m scheme to help alleviate the country's broadband woes.

The Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund was first announced last year by Chancellor Philip Hammond and will be matched by private finance, according to The Register, bringing the total investment pot up to £800 million.

The UK is currently lagging far behind when it comes to full-fibre provision across the country, with only two per cent penetration across the country, compared to the likes of Spain, which boasts an 80 per cent penetration rate.

Launching the fund, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones MP said, "Gone will be the days where parents working from home see their emails grind to a halt while a family member is gaming or streaming Game of Thrones in the next room.

"Full fibre will provide us with the better broadband we need to ensure we can work flexibly and productively, without connections failing."

Mark Collins, director of strategy at small broadband provider CityFibre, said he welcomed the fund. "Addressing the yawning fibre gap which sees the UK at just two per cent full fibre penetration vs countries like Spain on 80 per cent is essential," he said.

"This fund will help to underpin investor confidence and catalyse competitive full fibre roll‑out.“

The fund will be managed by two infrastructure investment firms - Amber Fund Management Limited and M&G Investments, part of Prudential PLC.

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