Subscribe For Free

Government Wireless Infrastructure Strategy pledges investment in digital connectivity

Staff Reporter
April 11, 2023

includes £40 million to aid 5G takeup and £8 million to connect remote homes to satellites.

Pledge to extend 5G to all populated areas by 2030 and invest £8 million to connect remote homes and businesses via satellite

New plans and investments to boost digital connectivity and put the UK at the forefront of future telecom technologies have been unveiled by Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan.

As part of the new  Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, the government has set out its ambitions to blanket the country with the fastest, most reliable wireless coverage available – with an ambition for all populated areas to be covered by 2030.

The Government will spend £8 million to connect 35,000 of the UK’s most remote properties to high-speed broadband. Homes and businesses in remote areas unable to be connected to gigabit-capable broadband will be given funding to link them up to satellites for a broadband connection that will be up to 10 times faster than currently available to them.

Funding to link remote areas to satellites for a high-speed broadband connection.

A £40 million  innovation fund will promote investment and adoption of advanced wireless connectivity

The strategy sets out a pro-investment framework for mobile network operators by reducing deployment costs and improving demand. The government has said it sees no limit to the number of mobile operators but confirms all decisions will be made by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The strategy has had a positive response from senior industry figures.

Hamish MacLeod, CEO of the mobile networks association Mobile UK said the strategy recognises the challenges faced by operators in rolling out fully

“We are encouraged by the commitment to ensure net neutrality regulations are fit for purpose and a call to Ofcom to review annual spectrum fees. World-class mobile connectivity must be based on a framework that incentivises investment; this strategy marks an encouraging first step along that road, and we will work with the government to ensure this is what it delivers”.

BT Group Chief Security and Networks Officer Howard Watson said he looked forward to “working with the government to tackle important issues such as modernising net neutrality rules to ensure content providers are incentivised to use networks efficiently”.

Julian David, of the technology trade association techUK called the strategy “an important step in creating the right environment for long-term infrastructure investments and enhancing the quality of the UK’s telecoms networks.

“Wireless infrastructure will play a central role to achieve the UK’s ambitions for productivity, growth, prosperity and net zero goals. We cannot afford to miss out on the benefits that the next generation of advanced communications services will deliver for the UK’s consumers and businesses”.

Ericsson UK & Ireland head Katherine Ainley said the announcement highlighted the government’s recognition of the huge economic opportunities offered by advancing mobile connectivity across the country.

“We can unlock innovation through connectivity that will transform industries and create a more connected, safer, and sustainable world”.

Virgin Media O2 Business and Wholesale managing director Jo Bertram said:

“5G has much to offer on an individual business level and to the UK economy. It is promising to see the UK Government place greater emphasis on 5G, with the announced £40 million 5G innovation fund”.


Share this article