Broadband:Written question - 202036

(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 13 December 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of using alternative and emerging technologies such as to support the roll-out of superfast and ultrafast broadband.
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 December 2018

The UK has good digital connectivity to meet the needs of today’s consumers. This includes technology, which is used by Openreach to deliver ultrafast speeds of more than 100 Mbps, using their existing part-copper infrastructure.

However, the Government is clear that demand for faster, more reliable and resilient broadband will rise and that the UK needs to increase the number of full fibre connections to deliver a nationwide gigabit capable broadband network by 2033. Our Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR), published in July 2018, set out a strategy for delivering that ambition. This includes direct investment into full fibre through the £190 million Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Challenge Fund and the £67 million Gigabit Voucher Scheme. At Budget, the Chancellor announced a further £200 million from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to pilot innovative approaches to deploying full fibre in rural areas.

The Government is also working to improve mobile broadband. We are committed to extending geographic coverage to 95% of the UK by 2022, and to becoming a world leader in 5G, with the majority of the population covered by a 5G signal by 2027. As part of this, Government is investing £200 million in a 5G Testbeds and Trials programme.

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