Under new rules from the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), the UK government has pledged itself to UK-wide full-fibre broadband coverage by 2033 and all new homes must be fitted with as standard. That’s according to the government’s new digital strategy ‘Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review’ which you can find here.
The new full-fibre broadband will replace the copper system, that is found all over the UK, at an estimated cost over time of £3bn – £5bn.
It’s worth remembering that the UK seriously lags behind other European countries when it comes to full-fibre broadband coverage. Only 4% of homes in the UK can currently access it. That’s compared with 89% of households in Portugal and 71% of homes in Spain. And they have that coverage now: the UK as a great deal of catching up to do and could still be playing catch up in ten years time. South Korea, for instance, rolled out such a system nationwide more than a decade ago because the government considered it vital for economic growth.
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.
– Jeremy Wright, DCMS Secretary, UK Government
It’s hard to get too excited about this. The coalition government delayed a similar roll out when it came to power in 2010, meaning we’re already the better part of 10 years behind the curve in getting this in place. Perhaps of more importance for ecommerce merchants, and indeed any business that relies on reliable and effective broadband to operate, is what you can get now, where you are, and whether it’s available for the right price.
It remains astonishing how poorly some areas are still served by both broadband and mobile signals in sometimes not even very remote parts of the UK. How is the situation down your way?