The UK has launched a long-term national strategy for fixed and wireless network connectivity, to increase 5G internet access in rural areas.
The strategy will support the expansion of internet access across the UK, in anticipation of the wider implementation of Internet of Things technologies, which will rely on fast 5G connectivity. The new approach aims to catalyse on large-scale commercial investment in fixed and wireless network connectivity, to allow the UK to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world.
A number of targets are outlined in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, including for the majority of the UK’s population to have access to 5G, for 15 million premises to have access to full fibre broadband by 2025, and widen this coverage to the whole of the UK by 2033. According to the review, this fibre infrastructure is vital to the implementation of 5G.
How will the strategy help to meet these targets?
The government will introduce new legislation which will mandate full fibre broadband connectivity for all newly built homes, and reform the regulatory environment around the technology to drive investment and competition which are tailored to local market conditions.
Further, the UK will increase public investment in providing full fibre broadband for users in rural areas, alongside its investments in connectivity in urban locations. Industry regulator Ofcom will lead the transition away from the copper wires which currently power much of the UK’s connectivity.
What has the UK government said about the strategy?
Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, emphasised the benefits that the broader availability of fixed and wireless network connectivity would deliver for people in the UK.
He said: “We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live, work or travel. This radical new blueprint for the future of telecommunications in this country will increase competition and investment in full fibre broadband, create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out infrastructure for 5G.”