The UK ranks lower ‘than most of Europe’ for average broadband speed. This will hinder digital business and damage innovation, and productivity as a result.
In order to address this problem, the UK Government are attempting to deliver full fibre broadband, with speeds approaching one gigabit per second (gbps), to the country.
Full-fibre technology takes high-speed cables directly to premises. Much of the current infrastructure relies on these fast cables being connected to roadside cabinets, which have older and slower copper cables that feed directly to the home or organisation.
At the moment, only 2% of the UK has access to these full fibre networks.
However, six areas in the UK will soon be trying out this broadband technology in a pilot scheme – Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry, Warwickshire, Bristol, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
In these areas, businesses, schools and hospitals will be the first to try out the “full-fibre” network technology, and the government will spend around £10 million getting the pilots up and running.
The aim of this project is to significantly boost the availability of this critical technology. It is widely considered the best way to deliver fast internet services.
“How we live and work today is directly affected by how good our broadband connection is,” said Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, in a statement.
“Faster, more reliable connections would create jobs, help new industries to emerge and let people work more flexibly,” he continued.
William Newton, president and EMEA MD at WiredScore, commenting on this news, said: “With the UK’s Internet economy making up the greatest percentage of GDP than any other European nation, great broadband is no longer a luxury for businesses. Underpinning business operations and customer-facing services, companies need access to high-speed, resilient broadband services.”
“These new fibre spines are a great step towards future proofing business in Britain, as demonstrating that the UK has the necessary digital infrastructure will not only be crucial to supporting existing business operations, but also ensuring that the country continues to be seen as an attractive place for tech investment and to do business.”
“This is a real concern for the business community, with nearly two in five northern tech professionals indicating that improved internet connectivity would make Manchester a more attractive city to UK based tech companies.”
“This is a much needed step to ensure that the UK’s digital infrastructure can continue to meet the needs of modern businesses. Establishing a fast and effective roll out of full-fibre broadband will be essential if the UK is to remain a global digital leader.”