The Chancellor, Philip Hammond MP, has issued his Autumn Budget 2017 speech and committed to invest £500 million into a “range of initiatives from artificial intelligence, to 5G and full fibre broadband” (£385m for the latter two specifically).
The statement included a pledge to invest “over” £500 million in a “range of initiatives from artificial intelligence, to 5G and full fibre broadband” (£385m of this is committed to 5G Mobile and Full Fibre). This funding is included in the £740m investment that was already announced in the Spring 2017 Budget.
Local full-fibre networks
Full-fibre is the gold standard for fast and reliable broadband. The government is launching a new £190 million Challenge Fund that local areas around the country will bid for to encourage faster rollout of full-fibre networks by industry. Children in 100 schools around the country will be some of the first to benefit, starting with a pilot in the East Midlands in early 2018.
5G testbeds and trials
The government will invest a further £160 million from the NPIF in new 5G infrastructure. The first projects to benefit are:
- £10 million to create facilities where the security of 5G networks can be tested and proven, working with the National Cyber Security Centre
- £5 million for an initial trial, starting in 2018, to test 5G applications and deployment on roads, including helping to test how we can maximise future productivity benefits from self-driving cars, building on the work already progressing on connected and autonomous vehicle trials in the West Midlands
Follow this link to the Autumn Budget 2017 documents