Skip to main content

Chancellor Hammond will announce £1 billion to roll out 'full-fibre' broadband

Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce an additional £1 billion in government investment in fast broadband during his Autumn Statement.

Two million homes and businesses could potentially gain access to “full-fibre” broadband with the capacity to reach speeds over 1Gbps. This additional increase in bandwidth would allow consumers to stream media over the internet and businesses would have a better chance of competing online.

Of the £1 billion in government investment, £400 million is expected to be allocated to create a new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund with the aim of boosting the commercial finance needed by fibre broadband providers that are looking to increase their operations.

According to the government, the UK is already one of the world leaders when it comes to superfast broadband coverage though its rollout of full-fibre has fallen behind with only 2 per cent of properties having access to it. Only through the combination of government investment and private investment will the rollout of full-fibre broadband be made possible. As a result of the public and private sector working together, more homes and businesses will have access to better internet connections.

Mr. Hammond will likely make the claim that full-fibre is the future of broadband due to the way the technology allows people to share their digital content with friends and family at a faster pace than ever before. Full-fibre is also able to deliver Ultra-HD content to consumers while being more reliable and secure than copper internet cables.

Rural areas will be affected the most by the government's investment as poor internet connections have damaged their businesses. Earlier this year, a survey from the European Commission revealed that rural communities in Britain have worse superfast broadband coverage than in Slovenia, Lithuania and Cyprus.

Nigel Taylor, founder and chairman of Taylor Made Computer Solutions commented: "Being able to share digital content quickly is critical to every organisation and in this post-Brexit climate it’s vital that we create the infrastructure to help them be as efficient, and therefore competitive, as possible."This new digital infrastructure fund is evidence of the government’s commitment to improving the UK’s digital infrastructure and predictions point towards a further two million properties having access to pure fibre as a result of the new investment.

"We’re also interested to hear local authorities will have the chance to bid for funding to trial superfast 5G mobile networks. We’re keeping our fingers firmly crossed that our ambitious local authorities in the Solent will be throwing their hats into the ring." 

Image Credit: Sarawutnirothon / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.