UK Launches £400m Fibre to the Home Initiative
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
The UK is pledging £400 million of public funds to support the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund. The fund aims to support the deployment of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) – also known as Fibre to the Home – to enhance speed and experience of broadband services.
Fibre to the Premises
At present, only around 3% of UK broadband users have FTTP. Instead, the majority of users have Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), with services delivered from the cabinet to the premises via copper wire. Needless to say, copper is much slower than fibre, so customers are not getting the full benefit.
Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund will run for four years. At the same time, the initiative will be supported by a five-year 100% business rate relief. Consequently, overall investment in FTTP – including private sector money – could rise to over £1 billion.
According to ISP Review, the ISPs set to benefit from the upgrades are “full-fibre” AltNet providers. The most popular UK AltNet providers include Gigaclear, B4RN, Hyperoptic, and Cityfibre. Reports suggest BT, Virgin Media, and TallkTalk will not benefit from the fund.
Andrew Jones MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:
“We are investing £400 million to make sure the UK’s digital infrastructure is match-fit for the future. As technologies change and people’s habits move with them, it is crucial we play our part to ensure Britain stays at the front of the pack.
Gone will be the days where parents working from home see their emails grind to a halt while a family member is gaming or streaming Game of Thrones in the next room. Full fibre will provide us with the better broadband we need to ensure we can work flexibly and productively, without connections failing.”
“Yawning Fibre Gap”
Mark Collins, Cityfibre’s Director of Strategy and Policy, said:
“We welcome the launch of the DIIF fund today. Addressing the yawning fibre gap which sees the UK at just 2% full fibre penetration vs countries like Spain on 80% is essential. This fund will help to underpin investor confidence and catalyse competitive full fibre roll-out. As the UK’s leading builder of full fibre infrastructure, we look forward to engaging with government to explore how the DIIF could accelerate our future plans.”