Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a £67m boost for full-fibre broadband, in a bid to help thousands of locations across the UK receive quicker internet connections.
The new scheme aims to help thousands of businesses and homes ahead of the 5G roll out, with a voucher scheme to help with the cost of upgrading to the network. Through the scheme named as the Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS), small or medium sized business (SMBs) will be given vouchers worth up to £3000 while residents can avail vouchers worth £500.
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said: “We’re backing Britain’s small businesses by investing £67 million to bring full-fibre broadband to more businesses up and down the country. This means faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future.”
The UK Government first promised the roll-out of effective 5G in the Autumn Budget last year and GBVS is part the larger government plan to bring more homes and businesses under full-fibre broadband connectivity. It is also part of the UK government’s pledge to ensure that at least 10 million homes and businesses will be able to access full-fibre broadband by 2022.
It builds on the £200m Local Full Fibre Networks programme which offers financing to local areas to improve full-fibre delivery. During the Spring Statement, £95m of this funding was allocated by the government to 13 successful bidders across the country.
The government believes that the next generation of broadband connectivity will enable the country to stay productive and competitive in the long run. It will also make the country fit for the future while allowing businesses to create better, higher-paying jobs across every part of the country, said the UK government.
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and now they can turbo-charge their connectivity with gigabit speeds. By building a full-fibre future for Britain we are laying the foundations for a digital infrastructure capable of delivering today what the next generation will need tomorrow.”
The voucher scheme can help businesses connect to faster broadband schemes, bettering their connections and business in years to come as well as helping the UK to achieve its aim to become world leader in the digital age.