DCMS-led initiative to examine how policy and market conditions could ensure UK has world-class digital connectivity
A review has been launched to ascertain “what policy changes government should consider to encourage greater investment in new digital infrastructure”.
The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review will be undertaken by a cross-government team, led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its aim is to examine how the government can create the right market conditions and policy frameworks to ensure the UK has “world-class digital connectivity that is ultrafast, reliable, long-lasting and widely available to UK homes and businesses”.
The review, which will publish a report in “summer 2018”, has identified three key areas it intends to assess.
- Government reinforces commitment to ‘full-fibre future’ for UK broadband
- Autumn Statement commits millions to full-fibre, 5G and digital railway signalling
- Government offers £190m funding for public sector to install full-fibre networks
The first is “the barriers to investment in digital infrastructure”, including cost, demand, regulation, and the structure of the market. The second area the review will examine is “how investment incentives vary between different areas of the UK and across different parts of the telecoms market”.
The final area is the impact of policy, with a focus on how government could potentially increase competition, stimulate investment, and possibly even intervene directly in the market.
Digital minister Matt Hancock said: “Government has already committed more than £1bn to supporting a business case for investment in full fibre and 5G networks through investment programmes and initiatives like our Barrier Busting Task Force. We’d like to build on what has been achieved so far, by removing future barriers before they arise, and ensuring that market and policy conditions are as good as they can be to maximise investment in new technologies.”