UK Government pledges full-fibre commitment

fibre city connect

Under new proposals drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) the UK will have full-fibre broadband coverage by 2033, completely replacing the copper network currently in place

It proposes legislation to encourage more private infrastructure investment.

It was recently announced that the UK has slipped for 31st to 35th in the global broadband league tables.

An Openreach spokesperson said, “We’re encouraged by the Government’s plan to promote competition, tackle red tape and bust the barriers to investment. As the national provider, we’re ambitious and want to build full fibre broadband to 10 million premises and beyond – so it’s vital that this becomes an attractive investment without creating digital inequality or a lack of choice for consumers and businesses across the country. As the Government acknowledges, the economics of building digital infrastructure remain challenging for everyone, and we believe a review of the current business rates regime is necessary to stimulate the whole sector.

“We want everybody in the UK to have fast, reliable access to the internet and we’re actively working on ways to increase adoption of our superfast and ultrafast services across the country. As more and more devices, appliances and services go online, we want every home and business to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want online, all at the same time.”

“We’re already building full fibre to around 10,000 homes and businesses every week, and by 2020 we’ll have reached 3 million.

“We have a huge, world class engineering team and wherever we build, we’ll deliver the best quality network with the highest levels of service and built-in competition and choice.”

“We’re determined to be the dependable partner for Government, the industry and our 600 wholesale customers as we work to bolster Britain’s position as a global digital leader.”

Mark Collins, Director of Strategy at CityFibre, added, “Today marks the day the Government decided once and for all to leave copper behind and commit the UK to a full fibre future, making clear that a new generation of infrastructure builders is the vehicle for delivering its bold ambition for all homes and businesses to be connected to full fibre by 2033, not just Openreach. CityFibre is already building the networks that the UK’s economy needs to prosper and is ready to work with industry and Government to make this a reality quickly.

“The Government’s plans to deliver nationwide full fibre include a welcome commitment to creating a level-playing field, ensuring greater transparency from the incumbent and delivering a stable regulatory environment for investment. However, it is critical that the consumer is at the heart of this fantastic opportunity from the start, as this is the key to unlocking demand. That means avoiding price rises, ensuring switching between networks is simple and ending the years of misleading ‘fake fibre’ advertising. Getting both sides of the equation right is key to ensuring millions of homes and businesses will benefit – we now need to see the Government and Ofcom push these plans through.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine