Government calls for full fibre broadband and 5G 'future for all'

All new homes built in Kent should come with mandatory full fibre broadband, the government says.

In a review of future telecom infrastructure, it also said a priority would be to connect hard-to-reach rural areas with high-speed internet connections.

Many areas in the county have long suffered from erratic connections - particularly those living outside of our major towns.

Government review calls for all homes and rural areas to have access to super-fast fibre connections
Government review calls for all homes and rural areas to have access to super-fast fibre connections

In publishing the Future Telecom Infrastructure Review, the government calls for a full fibre broadband - capable of super fast speeds - and a 5G "future for all".

The review proposes the changes that are needed to give the majority of the population access to 5G, connect 15 million premises to full fibre broadband by 2025, and provide full fibre broadband coverage across all of the UK by 2033.

Department of Communities Meda and Sport (DCMS) secretary of state, Jeremy Wright 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.”

It recommends legislation to guarantee full fibre connections to new build developments and public investment in full fibre for rural areas to begin simultaneously with commercial investment in urban locations.

It also calls for an industry-led switchover from copper to full fibre broadband coordinated with communications watchdog Ofcom.

The government says the roll-out of nationwide full fibre will cost between £3bn-£5bn.

Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, said: “We welcome the government’s review, and share its ambition for full-fibre and 5G networks to be rolled out right across the UK.

"The government and Ofcom are working together, and with industry, to help ensure people and businesses get the broadband and mobile they need for the 21st century.”

A public consultation on the proposals will be published "shortly".

A spokesperson for Openreach which owns and maintains telecom infrastructure, 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.”

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